Cassini successfully completes first dive between Saturn and its rings


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The Cassini spacecraft has successfully survived its close flyby of Saturn, diving between the rings and the top of the planet’s cloud tops.

As it dove through the gap, Cassini came within about 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) of Saturn’s cloud tops (where the air pressure is 1 bar — comparable to the atmospheric pressure of Earth at sea level) and within about 200 miles (300 kilometers) of the innermost visible edge of the rings.

Cassini is beaming down its images and data now, with the images to be available later today.

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