Cassini spacecraft google doodle
Google marks the grand finale journey of the Cassini. Google doodle

The latest Google Doodle features the Cassini spacecraft in marking the start of a series of swoops the vessel will make between the planet Saturn and its rings prior to its destruction.

The spacecraft will be making these cosmic acrobatics as part of its last journey that will offer an unprecedented look at the second largest planet in the solar system.

This will include 22 deep dives between Saturn's cloud tops and innermost ring before it plunges into the planet's atmosphere.

Google says the last leg of its journey will help scientists learn more about the origins, mass, and age of Saturn's rings, as well as the mysteries of the gas giant's interior.

"And of course there will be breathtaking additions to Cassini's already stunning photo gallery," the tech giant added.

"Who knows what marvels this hardy explorer will uncover in the final chapter of its mission?"

Cassini started its 2.2 billion-mile track in space 20 years ago and has been "hanging out" with Saturn since 2004. The spacecraft is a joint-endeavour of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

It was the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn, offering the first in-depth, up-close study of the planet and its system of rings and moons in 2004.

Linda Spilker, Cassini's project scientist, said: "We're looking at a string of remarkable discoveries ... about Saturn's magnificent rings, its amazing moons, its dynamic magnetosphere and Titan's surface and atmosphere.

California Institute of Technology quotes Spilker as saying: "Some of the mission highlights so far include discovering that Titan has Earth-like processes and that the small moon Enceladus has a hot-spot at its southern pole, plus jets on the surface that spew out ice crystals, and liquid water beneath its surface."

Cassini spacecraft
The Cassini spacecraft will end its mission this year. NASA

Titan is Saturn's largest moon. Cassini's observations of Titan has given scientists on Earth, a look at what Earth might have been like before life evolved, the Institute said, adding that it is now believed that Titan has several parallels to Earth, including lakes, rivers, channels, dunes, rain clouds, mountains and even possibly volcanoes.

This will be Cassini's final journey, before, perhaps fittingly, decommissioning itself by crashing through Saturn's atmosphere.

The spacecraft was initially targeted for only a four-year tour of the Saturn system which was completed in 2008. It has gone through two mission extensions. The two-year Cassini Equinox Mission saw the spacecraft make 60 additional orbits of the planet, 26 flybys of Titan, seven of Enceladus and one each of Dione, Rhea and Helene.

In 2010, it carried out its second, seven-year-long escapade: The Cassini Solstice Mission.

NASA offers its grand finale toolkit that will allow viewers to take the journey with Cassini.