Surprisingly emotional science film details the final months of 20-year old spacecraft
Directed by Swedish digital artist (and space junky) Erik Wernquist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the film strikes a genuine emotional tone – rare in science films – by successfully casting Cassini as a fearless, faithful, and selfless explorer.
Erik Wernquist: “The film is meant as an inspirational and informative piece about what happens in the last months of the mission and as a celebration of all that this historic spacecraft has achieved.
“It has been an unprecedented honor for me to do this film. Being a passionate enthusiast of planetary science, Cassini is the one mission – more than any other – to define my interest in the field, as I’ve had the pleasure to follow its success, from start to end, for a major part of my adult life.
"Cassini (launched in 1997) has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004 exploring the giant planet, its spectacular system of rings and moons. In 2017, after bringing home remarkably successful scientific achievements, discoveries and a treasury of gorgeous photos – the spacecraft is running out of fuel to maneuver.
"In order to protect the moons Enceladus and Titan, and their potentially life-bearing sub surface oceans, from possible contamination in the unlikely event of a future collision, it has been decided to take Cassini permanently out of service.
"Even up until the very end, Cassini will bring home data, as it tastes the atmosphere of Saturn, just minutes before burning up and becoming part of the planet itself.
“Thank you Cassini, and farewell. The solar system will feel empty without you.”
DIRECTOR – Erik Wernquist
PRODUCERS – Preston Dyches (JPL), Stephen Epstein (JPL)
MUSIC – Cristian Sandquist
WRITER – Preston Dyches (JPL)
NARRATOR – Stephanie Czajkowski
COLORIST – Caj Müller
EDITOR – Micke Lindgren
VISUALS COMPOSITING & PRODUCTION – Erik Wernquist
CASSINI MODELING – Svante Segelson
CASSINI SHADING, TEXTURES & DYNAMICS – Per Jonsson
SATURN BACKGROUND PAINTINGS – Greg Martin
TITLES – Mikael Hall
ADDITIONAL TEXTURES & BACKGROUNDS – Svante Segelson
ADDITIONAL COMPOSITING & PARTICLES – Mikael Hall
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