Visitors, please note that the RMSC Museum will be CLOSED for deep cleaning from Monday, Sept. 18 through Sunday, Sept. 24.

Strasenburgh Planetarium will be open only for performances of "Labyrinth" as part of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival.

Cumming Nature Center will remain OPEN.

Cassini End of Mission Viewing

Cassini End of Mission Viewing

Friday, Sept. 15: 7:15–8:45am

Free of charge

Join space enthiasts and Saturn fans in the Strasenburgh Planetarium lobby as we watch a live feed on a large screen to see the last signals arrive from the Cassini spacecraft as it enters the atmosphere of Saturn. 

After two decades in space, the European-American Cassini spacecraft is nearing the end of its remarkable journey of exploration. Having expended almost every bit of the rocket propellant Cassini carried to Saturn, operators are deliberately plunging the spacecraft into the planet to ensure Saturn's moons will remain pristine for future exploration—in particular, the ice-covered, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus, but also Titan, with its intriguing pre-biotic chemistry.

In April 2017, Cassini was placed on an impact course that unfolded over five months of daring dives—a series of 22 orbits that each pass between the planet and its rings. Called the Grand Finale, this final phase of the mission has brought unparalleled observations of the planet and its rings from closer than ever before. 

On Sept. 15, 2017, the spacecraft will make its final approach to the giant planet Saturn. This time, Cassini will dive into the planet's atmosphere, sending science data for as long as its small thrusters can keep the spacecraft's antenna pointed at Earth. Soon after, Cassini will burn up and disintegrate like a meteor.

The last signal from Cassini, transmitted just seconds before it burns up, is expected to reach Earth about 7:55am Rochester time on September 15. We'll watch a live feed from NASA's Deep Space Network tracking stations.

Feel free to bring your own coffee! 

 

Want to learn more about Cassini's findings?

After the end of the end of the Cassini Saturn mission, see all-new star show Cassini at Saturn to celebrate the beautiful thirteen-year journey, from its arrival in the Saturn system in 2004 to its daring final orbits inside the rings in 2017. The best photos and videos take us back to the release of a Titan lander, discovery of strange new structures in Saturn’s rings and clouds, and the discovery of water ice geysers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Opens Sept. 30 

See Showtimes


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