After Math: Planet smashers

Andrew Tarantola

It was a bittersweet week for the folks at Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Lab. One one hand, their $3.4 billion Saturn orbiter plunged to its mechanical demise in the suffocating atmosphere of the planet it spent 13 years studying. On the other, their $3.4 billion Saturn orbiter sampled the suffocating atmosphere of Saturn for the first time on its way down. So, pretty much a wash. Numbers, because how else can you appreciate how just dang ginormous our solar system really is.