Picardo set the words to the instantly recognizable aria "La Donna e mobile" from Verdi's "Rigoletto"
, photo: The Planetary Society via AP
13 of September 2017 15:20:50
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – NASA's Cassini spacecraft is getting a grand but hilarious opera send-off before it plunges through Saturn's atmosphere and vaporizes Friday.An actor from TV's old "Star Trek: Voyager" series, Robert Picardo, says he dashed off the lyrics in about a minute, several weeks ago. He collaborated with the creative director of the Planetary Society, and, presto, "Le Cassini Opera" was born.Picardo set the words to the instantly recognizable aria "La Donna e mobile" from Verdi's "Rigoletto."While Cassini's 20-year mission has been "a serious success," according to Picardo, the opera is definitely a comedy. Here's how it opens: "Goodbye, Cassini. Your mission's fini. Bravo, Cassini! Have some linguini." And on it goes, paying humorous tribute.For the record, Cassini's program manager, Earl Maize, loves the performance.