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Space missions have long exemplified humankind's indomitable spirit and boundless ambition. Once the reserve of nations, space is fact opening up to commercial enterprises and could soon be the must-go destination for tourists – provided the accumulation of debris doesn't turn Earth's orbit into a no-go zone. All this comes as missions beyond the Moon provide greater insights into our solar system and more powerful telescopes give us a glimpse at exoplanets light years away.

New Atlas keeps you up to date with the latest space news and fantastic images from all corners of the Universe.

Cassini mission comes to a fiery end

After 20 years and countless orbits, NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn has come to its fiery end. The space agency confirms that it lost all radio contact with the unmanned deep space probe today at 4:55 am PDT as the spacecraft hit the atmosphere of the giant ringed planet at 70,000 mph.

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