By Jonathan Amos
The Cassini spacecraft is sending data back to Earth after diving in between Saturn’s rings and cloudtops.
The probe executed the daredevil manoeuvre on Wednesday – the first of 22 plunges planned over the next five months – while out of radio contact.
Nasa’s 70m-wide Deep Space Network (DSN) antenna at Goldstone, California, managed to re-establish communications at 06:56 GMT (07:56 BST) on Thursday.
The close-in dives are designed to gather ultra high-quality data.
At their best resolution, pictures of the rings should be able to pick out features as small as 150m across.
The Cassini imaging team has already started to post some raw, unprocessed shots on its website.
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