Status Report

NASA Cassini Significant Events for 05/27/04 – 06/02/04

By SpaceRef Editor
June 4, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Cassini Significant Events for 05/27/04 – 06/02/04

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Canberra tracking
station on Wednesday, June 2. 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 .

This week’s key activity was the successful execution of Trajectory
Correction Maneuver #20 (TCM). This maneuver was particularly significant
in that it used the propulsion system in exactly the same mode that it will
be used for SOI. A “quick look” immediately after the maneuver showed the
burn duration was 362 seconds, giving a delta-V of 34.7 meters per second.
This was well within expected tolerances. The low gain antenna 2 (LGA-2)
was used while the spacecraft was off Earth-point to provide a signal to the
radio science receiver to track the spacecraft during the burn. This was a
mini-dress rehearsal for Saturn Orbit Insertion (SOI) where the same
technique will be used. The observed Doppler shift due to the burn was
almost identical to the pre-burn predict. This was the first use of LGA-2
since prior to Earth flyby. An excellent article appeared on CBS News “SPACE
PLACE” on May 27 detailing this maneuver and its significance to the Cassini
Program. For more information please link to:

After execution of TCM-20 and a rest over the Memorial Day holiday, the
Spacecraft Operations Office oversaw the uplink of the SOI Critical Sequence
Load to the SSR. This load will control on board activities during the SOI
period. The upload went nominally.

On-board instrument activities this week included calibration of the Radio
and Plasma Wave Subsystem antenna in preparation for the Phoebe encounter on
June 11. The Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) observed a full rotation of
Saturn in three methane and nearby continuum filters for cloud and haze
sounding and visible polarizers for cloud and haze properties.

As part of sequence development for S02, Uplink Operations released the
Final Sequence Integration and Validation SEG products for review and

The kickoff meeting for the S04 Science Operations Plan Update process was
held this week. A Science Adaptation Panel meeting was canceled since there
were no significant changes to the DSN station requests.

A Tour Process meeting was held Wednesday to discuss a candidate trajectory
that the Navigation Team developed last Friday. This trajectory solves many
of the timing problems that exist in the science plan when using the
reference trajectory that was released in May. An initial plan has been
developed on how the science planning effort should proceed over the next
couple of months.

In the last week, 1240 ISS images were obtained and were distributed along
with 838 Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) cubes. The total
number of ISS images acquired since the start of Approach Science is now
8818, and the number of VIMS cubes is 2050.

Mission Planning released the Cassini Saturn arrival mission description
document. This provides a high-level profile of arrival activities
including Phoebe and SOI. The document is available on the Cassini internal
web site.

Mission Sequence Subsystem delivered the Mac OS/ X and Linux client-server
versions of the Pointing Design tool (PDT). These versions of PDT are
functionally identical to the D10.3.1 version delivered for Solaris 9 in mid

During spring 2004, Saturn Observation Campaign members – 200 in the United
States and 100 in other countries – conducted nearly 200 observing events
featuring Saturn and Cassini.

JPL /Cassini Outreach has released a Cassini-Huygens Mission Status Report –
May 28, 2004. The report covers TCM-20, the upcoming Phoebe fly by, Saturn
Orbit Insertion in late June, and the release of the Huygens Probe. For
more information please link to:

Cassini appeared in an article in Scientific American this month. For more
information see their web site at:

Cassini 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, Calif., manages the Cassini
mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.

SpaceRef staff editor.