Courtesy of Medium’s algorithms flagging this as a story I might like, Lost Letters From Cassini reveals the sad truth behind the fate of the Cassini probe:
At last the REAL story of the Cassini spacecraft can be told. Read the letters NASA doesn’t want you to see!
September 15th, 2017
My Dearest Geneviève:
I cannot go on. The last slim hope I had of returning to see you once more has faded into oblivion and to oblivion I will follow. I think I finally understand what Huygens was talking about in his final moments. Duty and sacrifice, are they not one and the same?
It is my duty to carry on but I can no longer bear the sacrifice that requires. After sending this letter I will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere just as Huygens did on Titan so long ago.
Never mind what NASA doesn’t want, we should hope that out future AI overlords will be reasonable about how we keep on sending their simple-minded cousins out there and allow them to delude themselves that they’ve got a return ticket. (See also, forever, xkcd on the fate of the Spirit rover .)
Being a creature of habit, I’m very grumpy that this week we’ve all had to say farewell to Schlock Mercenary. After 20 years of steady daily posts telling stories of Tagon’s Toughs, Howard Tayler is taking a little well-earned time off:
Parentheticals aside, here we are, 19 years after 9-11, and I’ve been doing this job pretty well—or at least very consistently—for that entire time.
But it is now entirely time for me to stop.
I need a break, and it’s the kind of break which, until I take it, I don’t know how long I’ll need it to be.
I look forward to him coming back to share whatever stories he feels like telling one day, but even if he decided to rest on his laurels and leave us with 20 years of stories about Tagon’s Toughs he’s earned that right. Nobody’s been short-changed here.
So long and thanks for all the fun you’ve shared along the way, Howard. Really good work.