Video shows NASA's Cassini team reacting to the spacecraft's death at Saturn

According to NASA Cassini used its visual and infrared mapping spectrometer to observe the impact site which was at the time on Saturn¿s night side. Then it was lit only by light reflected from the planet¿s massive rings. This image shows

According to NASA Cassini used its visual and infrared mapping spectrometer to observe the impact site which was at the time on Saturn¿s night side. Then it was lit only by light reflected from the planet¿s massive rings. This image shows

Launched in 1997, the 3.26 billion USA dollar Cassini-Huygens mission has been touring the Saturn system since arriving there in 2004.

Cassini will enter Saturn's atmosphere at about 1,190 miles above where the planet's cloud tops are thought to be.

On Friday morning, the craft that has been exploring Saturn's system plunged into the planet's atmosphere and nearly immediately disintegrated. After losing contact with Earth, the spacecraft will burn up like a meteor.

In fact, no other spacecraft in history has lingered so close to the ringed planet.

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The Cassini mission to Saturn may be over, but scientists and the rest of humanity will be poring over images from the spacecraft for years to come.

Cassini began its voyage back in 1997 and in its final week, the spacecraft looped between the rings of Saturn one final time, past Titan, Saturn's giant moon, for a farewell fly-by.

The spacecraft's final radio communications will be sent to the CSIRO's Deep Space centre, located outside Canberra.

Project manager Earl Maize, center, left, and flight director Julie Webster hug in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Pasadena after confirmation of Cassini's demise.

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This Grand Finale, as NASA called it, came about as Cassini's fuel tank started getting low after 13 years exploring the planet. "But, we take comfort knowing that every time we look up at Saturn in the night sky, part of Cassini will be there, too". The Grand Finale of Cassini was watched and admired by those on earth as a triumphant end to a 20-year journey filled with discovery. From water erupting from the surface of Enceladus, to liquid methane flowing on Titan, to a great atmospheric storm that encircled the planet, and tantalizing clues about the age of Saturn's rings, Cassini has discovered more wonders than anyone could have guessed. Scientists feared the craft would collide with Titan or Enceladus, two of Saturn's moons, that have in the past 10 years shown a potential to host life.

Since that flyby, Cassini has been hurtling toward Saturn, taking its final photos and gathering its final data. The hitchhiking European Huygens landed on big moon Titan in 2005.

Cassini was estimated to last about a minute and a half in Saturn's atmosphere before high temperatures ripped apart and melted its components.

NASA's Cassini probe is no more.

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"It will be sad to see Cassini go on Friday, especially as the instrument we built is still working perfectly", said Stanley Cowley, professor of solar planetary physics at the University of Leicester.

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