Status Report

NASA Cassini Significant Events for 05/12/05 – 05/18/05

By SpaceRef Editor
May 21, 2005
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NASA Cassini Significant Events for 05/12/05 – 05/18/05

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday from the Goldstone tracking station. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and is operating normally. Information on the present position and speed of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the “Present Position” web page located at .

Activities this week:

On-board science activities this week for the Optical Remote Sensing (ORS) instruments include Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) mosaics of Saturn’s inner magnetosphere, an Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) ansa movie of the Encke division and a medium resolution color scan of the rings performed jointly by ISS, the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) and Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS).

The suite of Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) instruments, which include the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS), Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA), Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS), Magnetometer Subsystem (MAG), Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) and Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS), will simultaneously perform low-rate magnetospheric surveys.

Thursday, May 12 (DOY 132):

Today a combined Cassini Design Team meeting and Instrument Operations Working Group was held so that topics of interest to both groups could be presented at one time. On the agenda was a demonstration of a Cassini adaptation of a new configuration management system. The second item was presented by Mission Planning and addressed the ongoing development of the maneuver cancellation process.

Friday, May 13 (DOY 133):

Spacecraft Operations Office (SCO) personnel held a flight software (FSW) uplink procedure walk-through in preparation for sending the CAPS, CDA, and ISS FSW up to the spacecraft. Uplinks are scheduled to begin next week.

Navigation released the orbit determination (OD) solution today for the DOY 140-143 Live Inertial Vector Propagator (IVP) update and DOY 141 Live Moveable Block. The live update process for both changes was started. Teams will spend the weekend analyzing the OD in preparation for a Go/No Go meeting to be held Monday.

Today the S10 Sequence Leads officially handed the keys of the spacecraft over to the S11 leads. S11 runs for 35 days from 2005-134T02:50:00 to 2005-169T01:34:00, May 14 through June 18. There are no Orbit Trim Maneuvers or targeted encounters during this sequence, but there are two non-targeted flybys, one each of Enceladus and Titan. The Radio Science Subsystem (RSS) will continue their occultation campaign with VIMS and UVIS also performing occultation experiments.

Saturday, May 14 (DOY 134):

Thirty Cassini Program staff volunteered for JPL’s annual open house held this weekend May 14-15. Cassini displays included a 1/10-scale model of the Cassini spacecraft and beautiful images taken by the instruments aboard Cassini. In addition, a series of four display banners depicting Saturn’s moons, spectacular rings, Titan, and Saturn were debuted along with an updated version of the Ring World DVD. The DVD was shown 22 times over the weekend and over 20,000 Cassini Mission bookmarks were distributed. Additional Cassini members volunteered in other display areas and handed out maps, answered questions and greeted our guests both days.

Cassini Outreach and local Saturn Observation Campaign members held two local viewing events May 13 and 14. Over 650 excited viewers saw the planet Saturn with its beautiful rings and the Cassini division plus five of the eight visible moons, including Titan and Iapetus. During the Saturday event, in a local city park, three additional people brought their own telescopes to share with the public.

Sunday, May 15 (DOY 135):

RSS conducted Operations Readiness tests on both Saturday and Sunday. These tests are performed on a regular basis prior to each of the occultation events between now and September. The second of eight occultation observations occurs on May 21.

Monday, May 16 (DOY 136):

Science Planning kicked off the Science Operations Plan Update Process for S14 today.

The go was given at today’s Go/No Go Live Update meeting. The necessary files will be generated, and uplinked to the spacecraft on Wednesday. The Live IVP update will begin execution on Thursday May 19, and the Live Movable Block will execute on Saturday the 21st.

A Titan Atmospheric Working Group meeting was held today.

ISS performed a test in the Integrated Test Laboratory of cold start procedures and of camera readout timing. Analysis of the test will begin as soon as the data is received from the lab.

Tuesday, May 17 (DOY 137):

Spacecraft Operations Office (SCO) personnel held a flight software (FSW) uplink procedure walk-through in preparation for sending the ACS version 8.7.2 FSW up to the spacecraft. Uplink will occur on May 26.

The S13 Science and Sequence Update Process kickoff meeting was held today. Stripped sequence files were sent out to the team members for review, and the first cut at the Sub-Sequence Generation products was produced.

Wednesday, May 18 (DOY 138):

Today the Rings Target Working Team hosted a Rings Science Highlight Meeting. This was an open meeting for Cassini-Huygens Project personnel, and anyone interested in a preview of rings science objectives and activities. The meeting encompassed an overview of all the rings science that has been planned for the first set of inclined orbits (revs 6 thru 14). The meeting was presented via teleconference with presentations made from all around the US.

A Huygens-eye view of Titan’s surface is Astronomy Picture of the Day today.

Wrap up:

Check out the Cassini web site at for the latest press releases and images.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.

SpaceRef staff editor.