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Do you want to be mentioned on the Memorial Plaque that is in Saturn orbit? Reply : "Consider me in!" or something that is easily understandable. If you have any suggestions,answers, feel free to RP them! Common question: -How does this work? "If you REP with the appropriate answer, your name will appear on the Plaque, under the "Thank you" in the black rectangle. If you want, you can have your own color and font." The image will be updated every time someone requests/we reach 2 new names on the plaque. Additional info : -RESOLUTION : now it's 1024x1024. You can request any resolution YOU want. PREVIEW: PS: The preview image is more Low-Quality because of embedded image quality restrictions. And yes , in the original one the names are not blurry at all.
Some people are probably aware that Cassini is preparing for its "Grand Finale" in 2017, where it will flh between Saturn and the rings a few times before plunging into the planet's atmosphere. I do not like this at ALL. The old "tradition" of burning up space probes once their missions are completed seems to be such a waste of effort, money, and onboard resources. Cassini costs several hundred million dollars, but NASA still wants it to burn up? Not that I'm completely against them, but it doesn't seem right for such a valued and valuable probe to go that way. We probably all know that Cassini is running low on fuel, so it will eventually have to be disposed of. But how about a better fate: landing on one of Saturn's low-gee moons? With Cassini's new orbit, it's mainly impossible. However, landing or crashing onto one of Saturn's moons would've been a lot easier than getting into this "Grand Finale" orbit. Just look at this chart here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassini–Huygens_retirement If it was possible with Cassini's new orbit, it would have some restrictions. Only moons near or in the rings will be close enough for the probe to encounter them with its current situation. That still opens up the possibilities of landing on Pandora, Pan, Prometheus, Epimetheus, Atlas, Daphnis, and other small moons I forgot. Cassini's new orbit will bring the probe pretty close to at least one of thess moons, so encounters are possible. Then there is Mimas. Our favorite Death Star moon might be close enough to the rings for Cassini to encounter while making a rather small orbit change. It also has the lowest gravity of any object rounded by hydrostatic equilibrium. Now with targets done, let's talk about physical limitations. Cassini has enough fuel left to land on any moon with less than 4% the gravity of Earth. All of the moons I mentioned fall well under this limit. In fact, Mimas has 0.00648 gees even though it has the most gravity of any moon I mentioned! The reason I chose such low-gee moons is that there has to be enough fuel to change Cassini's orbit and get captured by a moon. And with some of the moons hiding in the rings, there will be a lot of course corrections. Even if Cassini was chosen to land on a moon instead of the Grand Finale, then it would be able to land on any Saturnian moon (excluding Titan). Finally, there is scientific interest. Mimas has the most scientifc (and citizen) interest of any of the mentioned moons, but the others tell an interesting story of the conditions in ring gaps. Personally, I'd recommend Mimas. But if the Grand Finale orbit was never made, NASA probably would've chosen either Tethys, Rhea, Dione, or Mimas itself. Those are my thoughts, but what about yours? Would it really have been better for Cassini to land on a Saturnian moon than be cooked into Spacecraft Stew? I will eventually have a poll for this thread to get some statistics.