The Saturn probe was to end by 2008, but was given extensions till 2017. With fuel running out, the spacecraft is set to make its final passes through Saturn and its rings, before destruction. At present, Cassini is around 100,000 kilometers away from Saturn.
"Not only do we have an environment [at Saturn] that is just overwhelming in its abundance of scientific mysteries and puzzles, we got a spacecraft and a team that could exploit it. It's just been an amazing, amazing mission," Earl Maize, Cassini's program manager, said.