It spent nearly 20 years traveling hundreds of millions of miles and studying Saturn from every angle. You did good kid, ya did real good.

The Cassini orbiter was launched on October 15, 1997, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and along with the Huygens probe began a journey that would eventually last almost 20 years. Cassini’s Grand Finale-the moment when the exploratory mission backed by 27 nations sends its last data signal across the solar system-took place September 15, 2017, at which point Cassini was set adrift by NASA into Saturn’s upper atmosphere and burnt to a mechanical crisp. During the 13-plus years Cassini was studying Saturn its accomplishments and statistics were other-wordly impressive, including:

  • 635 gigabytes of data collected.
  • Over 450,000 images taken.
  • 4.9 billion miles (7.8 billion kilometers) traveled since it was launched.
  • 294 orbits of Saturn completed.
  •  Cost of the mission: $3.9 billion (U.S. dollars).