Status Report

NASA Cassini Significant Events 06/24/08 – 06/27/08

By SpaceRef Editor
July 4, 2008
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NASA Cassini Significant Events 06/24/08 – 06/27/08

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on June 27 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:

Tuesday, June 24 (Day of Year (DOY) 176):

The Cassini-Huygens Analysis and Results of the Mission (CHARM) teleconference for June featured discussion of Cassini’s 4th anniversary at Saturn, with an introduction by the Deputy Project Scientist and presentations on the icy satellites and Saturn. Because so much has been accomplished this year, the CHARM planners have decided to devote several months to the past year’s results.

Four Instrument Expanded Block (IEB) files for the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS), and Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) were uplinked to the spacecraft today. The loads were verified as properly written to the Solid State Recorder (SSR) via memory readout data. Uplink Operations will continue on tomorrow’s shortened DOY 177 Deep Space Station-14 track with three Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) IEBs, and one each for the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS), Optical Navigation and Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS).

An image of Ithaca Chasma on Tethys was Astronomy Picture of the Day today:

Today is the 9th anniversary of the Cassini Venus 2 flyby.

Wednesday, June 25 (DOY 177):

Today the spacecraft turned to Dione, which was the focus of the day’s Optical Remote Sensing observations. Even though the satellite was nearly one million kilometers from Saturn, the phase angle was very low — less than one degree.

Thursday, June 26 (DOY 178)

Several instruments performed regularly scheduled maintenance today. ISS team members calibrated the instrument by observing stars, CIRS took advantage of time spent pointing at dark sky to perform a deep-space calibration, and Radio Science (RSS) performed a boresight calibration and an Ultra-Stable Oscillator characterization.

An opportunity to observe Enceladus provided ISS with global color and polarization data and UVIS with measurements of the moon’s ultraviolet albedo.

Sequence leads for S42 hosted the final sequence approval meeting today and uplinked the last of the IEB files for that sequence. In addition, commands were sent for the Radio and Plasma Wave Science instrument to change from two-antenna to three-antenna direction finding in survey modes. This command will begin execution on DOY 181.

Friday, June 27 (DOY 179):

The Titan Orbiter Science Team (TOST) held a Titan Preview meeting today for Titan flybys T45 through T52. Representatives for each instrument discussed the key science planned for these encounters.

The kick-off meeting for the S42 DOY 188 Saturn/Enceladus Live Inertial Vector Propagator (IVP) Update and the DOY 189 RSS Saturn occultation Live Movable Block (LMB) update was held today. At this point, both Science Planning and RSS are recommending a “go” for the sequence updates. Sequence leads will wait to hear from CIRS and VIMS for confirmation, but at this point it is assumed that the team will proceed with the updates. The Go/No-Go meeting is set for June 30.

A news release announced the transition from Prime Mission to the two-year Extended Mission, called the Cassini Equinox Mission:

Uplink Operations sent the final Live IVP update for DOY 182 for Saturn, Enceladus, Janus, Mimas and Tethys to the spacecraft today along with the S42 background sequence. The first extended mission sequence, S42, will begin execution on July 1.

SpaceRef staff editor.