Jar of peanuts in mission control.
Source: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Published: July 12, 2018

More tradition than superstition, “lucky peanuts” are a fixture at major deep space mission events since 1964.

A jar of peanuts is seen sitting on a console in mission control of the Space Flight Operations Center as the Cassini mission team await the final downlink of the spacecraft's data recorder, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Since its arrival in 2004, the Cassini-Huygens mission was a discovery machine, revolutionizing our knowledge of the Saturn system and captivating us with data and images never before obtained with such detail and clarity.

On Sept. 15, 2017, operators deliberately plunged the spacecraft into Saturn, as Cassini gathered science until the end. The “plunge” ensures Saturn’s moons will remain pristine for future exploration.

During Cassini’s final days, mission team members from all around the world gathered at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, to celebrate the achievements of this historic mission.


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