Goodbye Cassini: Saturn spacecraft gets funny opera send-off

September 13, 2017 by Marcia Dunn
This image shows a frame from a video posted on YouTube by The Planetary Society on Sept. 12, 2017, with actor Robert Picardo singing an operatic ode to the Cassini spacecraft. The actor from TV's old "Star Trek: Voyager" series says he dashed off the lyrics in about a minute, several weeks ago. (The Planetary Society via AP)

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is getting a grand but hilarious opera send-off before it plunges through Saturn's atmosphere and vaporizes Friday.

An actor from TV's old "Star Trek: Voyager" series, Robert Picardo, says he dashed off the lyrics in about a minute, several weeks ago. He collaborated with the creative director of the Planetary Society, and, presto, "Le Cassini Opera" was born.

Picardo set the words to the instantly recognizable aria "La Donna e mobile" from Verdi's "Rigoletto."

While Cassini's 20-year mission has been "a serious success," according to Picardo, the is definitely a comedy. Here's how it opens: "Goodbye, Cassini. Your mission's fini. Bravo, Cassini! Have some linguini." And on it goes, paying humorous tribute.

For the record, Cassini's program manager, Earl Maize, loves the performance.

Explore further: Cassini makes its 'goodbye kiss' flyby of Titan

Related Stories

Image: Haze on the Saturn horizon

July 28, 2017

This false-color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft gazes toward the rings beyond Saturn's sunlit horizon. Along the limb (the planet's edge) at left can be seen a thin, detached haze. This haze vanishes toward the right ...

Cassini to begin final five orbits around Saturn

August 10, 2017

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will enter new territory in its final mission phase, the Grand Finale, as it prepares to embark on a set of ultra-close passes through Saturn's upper atmosphere with its final five orbits around ...

Saturn spacecraft not affected by hypothetical Planet 9

April 9, 2016

Contrary to recent reports, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is not experiencing unexplained deviations in its orbit around Saturn, according to mission managers and orbit determination experts at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory ...

Recommended for you

Exploring planetary plasma environments from your laptop

June 15, 2018

A new database of plasma simulations, combined with observational data and powerful visualisation tools, is providing planetary scientists with an unprecedented way to explore some of the Solar System's most interesting plasma ...

NASA encounters the perfect storm for science

June 14, 2018

One of the thickest dust storms ever observed on Mars has been spreading for the past week and a half. The storm has caused NASA's Opportunity rover to suspend science operations, but also offers a window for four other spacecraft ...

The most distant radio galaxy discovered

June 14, 2018

An international team of astronomers has detected a new high-redshift radio galaxy (HzRG). The newly identified HzRG, designated TGSS1530, was found at a redshift of 5.72, meaning that it is the most distant radio galaxy ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.