Station Cassini has received the final and most specific shots dione - 4th moon of Saturn (Saturn IV).
The inhabitants of the Earth in the coming decades will no longer see new high-quality images of distant celestial bodies, due to the approaching completion of the Cassini mission. This explains the NASA web site.
Station Cassini 17 August 2015 at 14:33 est (22:33 MSK) flew at a distance of 475 km from the surface of dione. For all the time of research it was Cassini 5th rapprochement station with a celestial body. The closest she flew to the moon of Saturn (at a distance of 100 km) in early December 2011.
The main purpose of linking the station with the satellite was the study of its gravity, which may help to explain the internal structure dione. To the processing of data acquired from research workers will take several months. Obtaining images of the satellite in the process of migration Cassini was not, according to the adherents of the mission, its main objective.
After convergence and Diona in 2015 station Cassini will make 14 and 28 October and 19 December flying near Enceladus is the most potential (in the moment) known contender for the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life in the Solar system. So, on 28 October, the station will be at the distance of 49 km from the surface of this moon of Saturn is minimal for all history of its research.
The station should fly through the plume, consisting of frozen particles, vomit cryovolcanism of Enceladus, and assemble data about their composition. This can help researchers to Refine existing models of the internal structure of the satellite of Saturn, namely, the temperature conditions in its under-ice ocean, the existence of which the majority of scientific workers closer no doubt.
In early December, Cassini will approach Enceladus (in the distance 4999 km from its surface). After that station until the end of 2017 must make several passes close to other satellites of Saturn (namely, small Daphnis, Telesto and Epimeria), but conditionally on far away distances (no more than 50 thousand km from their surfaces). This will help to obtain the best quality images.
Just own during the last mission (dubbed the Grand Finale) from late 2016 to late 2017 station Cassini will make several flights in the space between the rings of Saturn and will examine the regular weather changes of the gas giant.
1st photo dione were obtained in the early 1980s the station Voyager during its passage near Saturn and satellites. The diameter of dione reaches 1123 km, and it takes a middle position among spherical satellites of the planet. The name Saturn IV due to the history of the discovery of a celestial body. The satellite consists, approximately, of a mixture of water ice and rocks.
The mission Cassini-Huygens is a joint project of NASA and the European space Agency. The main objective is the study of Saturn, its rings and the largest satellite of the planet Titan. To achieve the desired result, on 15 October 1997 from Cape Canaveral in Florida was launched unmanned space ship. On 1 July 2004 he went out to the orbit of Saturn. December 25, 2004 from the satellite separated probe Huygens, 14 January 2005 landed on Titan's surface.
Mission Cassini and New Horizons complete monitoring of the Solar system beyond the orbit of Pluto. In subsequent NASA intends to concentrate on manned flight to Mars, also the study of Jupiter and its satellites on the scale of the mission Juno (Jupiter Polar Orbiter). The station, launched in August 2011, must, in July 2016 to reach to the orbit of Jupiter.