Mauna Kea's Ties to Cassini

Sep 15, 2017

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Astronomers atop Mauna Kea are celebrating the life of the Cassini spacecraft today.

As you may have heard, NASA ended the craft’s two decades of service earlier today by crashing into the planet Saturn.

During those years, the W.M. Keck Observatory and the Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea were crucial in providing support to Cassini’s mission.

Some of the projects the Keck was a part of included the preparation of launching Cassini’s Huygens probe to Saturn’s moon Titan.

Randy Campbell is Observing Support Manager with the W-M Keck Observatory.

Campbell says it's Cassini's end isn't necessarily a sad thing because it has been crucial in our understanding of Saturn.