Status Report

NASA Cassini Significant Events 04/06/11 – 04/12/11

By SpaceRef Editor
April 16, 2011
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NASA Cassini Significant Events 04/06/11 – 04/12/11

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on April 12 from the Deep Space Network tracking complex at Goldstone, California. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and all subsystems are operating normally. Information on the present position and speed of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the “Present Position” page at:

Wednesday, April 6 (DOY 096)

In science this week, the observations continued from the last two weeks with a focus on the Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) instruments making measurements of the distant reaches of Saturn’s magnetosphere. The Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) performed two more of its series of repeated slews across the auroral oval of Saturn for 17 hours each, a special set of observations that are coordinated with Hubble Space Telescope observations of Saturn’s aurorae. Today the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS), Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), and the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) made an observation of Titan from a distance of 2 million km to look for changes in the surface and to monitor clouds.

An encounter strategy meeting was held today to cover the period between Apr. 19 and May 8, Titan flybys T75 and T76, and maneuvers 281-283.

A Delivery Coordination Meeting for the Maneuver Automation Software (MAS) v9.1.1 and nine Cassini Spacecraft Analysis Subsystem (CSAS) tools took place today. The tools in the CSAS delivery were all updated to correct a Multi-mission Spacecraft Analysis Subsystem (MSAS) library issue that was reporting a 2011 date error.

Thursday, April 7 (DOY 097) An article called “ESA scientists honored by the European Geosciences Union in Vienna” was made available on the Cassini web site today. Two European Space Agency (ESA) scientists were recognized, one with the Jean Dominique Cassini Award and the other with the David Bates Award, at a ceremony in Vienna, presented by the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The EGU is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in geosciences as well as planetary and space sciences for the benefit of humanity. These two awards, along with others, are given out at their annual conference for outstanding contributions in these areas. For images and more information on this subject, link to:

Friday, April 8 (DOY 098)

Some Cassini scientists attended the European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna held Apr. 4-8, where several sessions were focussed on Cassini results.

Teacher professional development workshop proposals for “Reading, Writing & Rings”, “Cassini Scientist for a Day”, and “Our Solar System Through the Eyes of Scientists” were submitted today for the 2012 National Science Teachers Association annual conference to be held in Indianapolis on Mar. 28-Apr. 1, 2012.

Saturday, April 9 (DOY 099)

The Instrument Operations System/Multi Mission Image Processing Laboratory (IOS/MIPL) Integration and Test (I&T) team continued testing Cassini Delivery 39.1; testing is approximately 85% complete. This is in preparation for the CAS D39.1 IOS/MIPL delivery meeting scheduled for Apr. 20. This delivery implements enhancements essential for Instrument Operations (IO) workforce reduction in the Solstice Mission, and to correct bugs and deficiencies recently identified in operations.

Sunday, April 10 (DOY 100)

The Instrument Operations/Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (IO/VIMS) instrument team supported science team requests for testing on ground support equipment to determine the feasibility of exoplanet characterization observations. Several test cases were exercised and sample products were delivered to the team.

Monday, April 11 (DOY 101)

The monthly Project science teleconference was held today with discussion on topics such as the new Cassini Participating Scientists program, session proposals for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in December, and the latest activities of each of the teams.

The Downlink Ground System (DGS) team along with the support of other Cassini teams completed Java Distributed Object Manager (DOM) end-to-end tests on the Network File System (NFS). Testing resulted in the reporting of ten issues; one major issue found was the corruption of a file. This issue is currently being investigated since it cannot be reproduced and is still not determined to be DOM related.

Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #280, the Titan T75 approach maneuver, was scheduled this week for processing, approval, uplink and execution Friday evening, Apr. 15. There is potential for cancellation.

Tuesday, April 12 (DOY 102)

The Attitude and Articulation Control Subsystem (AACS) Periodic Engineering Maintenance was completed today. This activity, performed approximately every 90 days, contained only the Backup ALF Injection Loader (BAIL) maintenance and Engine Gimbal Actuator (EGA) exercise. The backup reaction wheel assembly (RWA) exercise was unnecessary since RWA-3 is in use during this S67 sequence. The DGS team provided an Acelog demonstration to the Operations Team last week, and another demonstration will be given later in the week. Acelog V1.0, the replacement tool for the Operations Log (OLOG), will be formally delivered and released into operations at the end of April. Plans for an Acelog V2.0 release are tentatively scheduled for the end of next month.

SpaceRef staff editor.