Cassini’s First Dive Between Saturn and Its Rings

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After the first-ever dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings, NASA's Cassini spacecraft called home to mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

See highlights from the scene at JPL on April 26-27, 2017, and some of the first raw images the spacecraft sent back from its closest-ever look at Saturn’s atmosphere. For more information about Cassini and its “Grand Finale,” visit .

Cassini First Dive Video Transcript


April 26, 2017

Linda Spilker, Casssini Project Scientist: Cassini dove in between the rings and the planet for the very first time. So at midnight tonight will be the first time Cassini turns back to the earth, sends a signal and lets us know that it successfully navigated through this gap where it's flown for the very, very first time.


Systems, radio science, we have X band carrier signal detection .

Earl Maize, Cassini Project Manager: We've got a booming carrier. Everything looks great. We're just now waiting for the data.

ACE : Ansco systems, Cassini Ace, I can confirm we have a good lock on the 66360 bit rate data at this time should see it.


Cassini Ace, I confirm that the science playback is in lock and starting to run.


Linda Spilker: Cassini is safely sending back data.


Jim Green, NASA Planetary Science Division Director: Cassini is a mission of firsts. Time and time again it has continued to surprise us.Astounding observations. It has changed our thinking irrevocably.

Linda Spilker: Onward to the Grand Finale.