A longtime friend builds custom Dobsonian telescopes and motorized equatorial platforms for clients all over the world. We observed Saturn on his personal telescope recently (32" mirror, high up in the Sierra Nevada foothills, on a clear night with exceptionally stable viewing conditions). Amazing views — although nothing close to the stunning images Cassini sent to Earth.
Anyway, it occurs to me that with Cassini gone (and by extension, a human presence), Saturn seems more distant; maybe even a little lonely.
Kudos and heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the Cassini mission possible. Well done. Mission accomplished. Humankind will always remember these pioneering steps into the Universe beyond our little blue dot. In troubled times, it's good to know that our species is capable of wonder — and wonderful accomplishments.
I can't thank you people enough for all of this. What an amazing gift to have the ability to sit in front of a screen and see all of this, its almost hard to comprehend. I often think of what people like Johannes Kepler or Ben Franklin would say if they were around to see what they have contributed too. Indeed, they would be awestruck. To Carolyn Porco, who has a place with those great names, and who has given herself to see that we as a species achieve our destiny among the stars, thank you.
Carolyn - you have been my guide to a different world - an ambassador to what is humanly possible. I can't thank you enough for all of your diligent posts. Receiving them over the years has been the best diversion which I've allowed myself to get lost in.
Personally it's hard to imagine my inbox without those precious invitations to explore the universe and -even if just temporarily - leave the rest behind.
For the larger picture your important work reminds us that we are but one small place where an amazing turn of events have come to pass. We ought not take anything for-granted.
Thank you so much, and let's figure out how to continue!
As you said, it is the final log in decades of documentation that we have all enjoyed reading about. Thanks for sharing all your wisdom, thoughts and pictures and videos with us. You and Cassini will be sorely missed. - Taher
Captain Carolyn, I cannot thank you enough for keeping us updated on the Cassini Mission the last 20 or so years! Within that time so much has been discovered in the Saturnian system by Cassini and so much has happened on our pale blue dot! Thanks to your diligence with keeping us updated on Cassini, I've been able to share your posts with my 11 year old twin boys who have marveled at the images that have been transmitted by Cassini. Also, we really enjoyed the PBS specials on the Voyager probes and especially the mini-doc, "Second Genesis". We will pay tribute to Cassini tonight by watching "Death Dive to Saturn" on NOVA. I find myself thinking back to all the controversy over Cassini's launch and the unfounded fear that somehow Cassini would explode in the atmosphere spewing radiation. Along with exploration comes danger and the unknown yet what an ROI the citizens of Earth have received over all that has been learned by the Cassini Mission. My family and friends will always support NASA and scientific research. It really is up to us to lean on our representatives to expand funding for NASA, the NSF and other agencies doing science for the good of humanity.
As this final chapter plays out, the title of the final ST TNG episode comes to mind, All Good Things...
Thank you very much for taking us all along for the ride Captain and providing a window seat. Time to publish all the pictures there weren't time for before...hint hint!!
Kudos and great job to all!
I usually am a wordy guy, but this day words fail. So if I may let me paraphrase Captain Kirk's farwell eulogy to Spock from "Wrath of Kahn".
"We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead (Cassini). And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave its life to protect and nourish. She (Carolyn) did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate her profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend,
(Dr. Carolyn Porco) I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, hers is the most... human.
as "that golden machine, so dutiful and strong, ... enter('s) the realm of history, and the toils and triumphs of this long march (are) done."
i want to extend the thanks i have already sent to that "golden machine" to the human members of the team that machine was a part of.
your dedication and contributions are greatly appreciated, and should be appreciated for a long time to come.
the amazing imagery and information you have brought to us are breathtaking and astounding.
from the designers and assemblers, to the imaging team and scientists, to the radio-telescope operators who aimed their antennas to capture Cassini's voice, Thank You one and all.
i am sad that this great mission has ended.
i am also envious of those of you that participated directly with this mission. i have never had any opportunity to be a part of anything like it. not even close.
i can't think of a better way to spend 27 years of working life.
“We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Es para mi un honor, haber participado en el proceso de imagenes, durante los 20 años de misión de la Nave, es una alegria que muchas mujeres hayan sido la inspiración del equipo de ingenieros y de imagenes. Un saludo a la Dra. Caloryn Porco, la Dra. Mar Vaquero con la cual he compartido en video conferencias animando a jovenes en los temas del espacio. Muchas Gracias Cassini por ser una nave que ha unido todo el planeta en una sola mision, ir y conocer un mundo en donde nadie ha ido antes y ahora poderlo ver como el mundo de las maravillas que nos espera nuevamente.
It is an honor for me, to have participated in the process of images, during the 20 years of mission of the Ship, it is a joy that many women have been the inspiration of the team of engineers and of images. A greeting to Dr. Caloryn Porco, Dr. Mar Vaquero with whom I have shared in video conferences encouraging young people in the themes of space. Thank you very much Cassini for being a ship that has united the whole planet in a single mission, to go and to know a world where nobody has gone before and now to be able to see it like the world of the wonders that awaits us again.
I will miss this old friend, because in these 20 years (and especially in the last 13 of course) Cassini was a friendly presence, the assurance that something good may come from the Mankind. Beyond stupid and meaningless divisions, beyond the hatred, motivated by as much idiotic reasons. Beyond the miserable greed.
Beyond all this there was Cassini, studying, searching, exploring. Cassini was the best of the best of the Mankind. A daily visit to Cyclops was a moment of enjoyment and relief.
So... farewell, my old friend.
With you it's been one hell of a ride.
Thank you for all of the wonderful imagery...looking up at that dot in the sky, it's amazing to think that Cassini is still out there sending these wonderful views millions of miles across the vastness of space for us to learn from and enjoy. I'm so sorry this has to end in a few days, but also so very grateful for and appreciative of all of the hard work you and your dedicated team have put into this incredible journey. Your project has benefitted everyone from the most knowledgeable scientists to the most humble hobbyists...from the bottom of my heart, thank you, fare thee well and bon voyage Cassini!
i have been enthralled with NASA's missions from the time i watched Echo I cross the night sky shortly after its launch.
of all the missions NASA has participated in, that i have witnessed, Cassini is, by far, the most spectacular.
i come from a background that believe inanimate objects can have spirit. both the Cassini and Huygens probes lend support to that notion.
the extraordinary performance, the unprecedented imagery, the astounding science these two stalwart machines have sent to use should be appreciated for generations to come.
i have come to think of the Cassini probe as a trusted friend who just keeps giving me things to appreciate. from unlocking the information that lead to the conclusion there is a liquid ocean under the ice crust of Enceladus, to awe inspiring images of the rings.
so, little robot, so far away, thank you for 13 years of stalwart service. you are a key member of a really great team.
i am firmly convinced you will be sorely missed by everyone on that team.
i know you will be missed by this member of the crowd in the grandstands. i strongly suspect you will be missed by many others.
so, dear friend, thank you.
thank you for all the images.
thank you for all the information.
most of all, thank you for all the windows that lead to insight.
The Last Lap
Sad in the aspect that this mission is over. Time to move to Cassini Ver 2.0 and finally have time to analyze the petabytes of data collected.
Thank you Ciclops Team it's been a wild and wonderful ride.
Atlas is saucer-shaped because it's most likely gathering particles from Saturns' rings: this process allows Atlas to grow over time (same thing happened probably to Iapetus: it has the same ridge along its equator).
Ergo: Saturn rings probably act like an accretion disk :-)