This week, one of humanity’s most successful space missions came to an end as the Cassini spacecraft dives into the atmosphere of the planet Saturn. Cassini is the 4th spacecraft to visit Saturn, and has given the world a closer look at that planet and its moons than has ever been possible before. It has shown us the plumes erupting from icy Enceladus, and the sun shining off the methane lakes on Titan. As it heads toward Saturn, the craft will be guided on a series of moves through the inner rings of Saturn, to continue gathering scientific data and images for as long as possible.
Spacecraft are a popular theme for stamps around the world; NASA spacecraft have appeared on stamps from dozens of countries outside the United States. Cassini is pictured on several of these stamps.
On this stamp from the Central African Republic, Cassini appears with a portrait of the Polish astronomer Copernicus, against a backdrop of Saturn.
Madagascar also released a Cassini stamp in 2011, in a set with 3 other spacecraft.
The Maldives released an entire set dedicated to its 10th anniversary.
Burundi also released a set of stamps, one with Cassini and the other depicting the Hubble Telescope.
Farewell, Cassini, and thanks for all the science!
[All images public domain or fair use.]