Status Report

NASA Cassini Significant Events for 06/29/05 – 07/06/05

By SpaceRef Editor
July 8, 2005
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NASA Cassini Significant Events for 06/29/05 – 07/06/05

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday, July 6, from the Goldstone tracking stations. 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:

The entire 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), continued to perform simultaneous low-rate outer magnetospheric surveys in order to observe the variability of magnetospheric boundaries at several geometrically similar apoapses. In addition, CAPS observed the dawn-side/dusk-side magnetospheric boundaries at a variety of radial distances and latitudes.

Optical Remote Sensing science included Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) observations of many small moons for orbit determination, ISS acquisition of data for a variety of movies of Saturn’s southern hemisphere, and Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) infrared mappings of Saturn’s upper troposphere and tropopause to determine its thermal properties.

Wednesday, June 29 (DOY 180) A sub-sequence generation sequence change request approval meeting was held today as part of development for S14. Of the twenty-three changes submitted, seventeen were approved, four withdrawn, one disapproved, and one remains pending.

A Cassini team member from University College London gave a seminar on ground-based Cassini support with infrared observations of Saturn’s aurora. Using high-resolution spectra, the ion winds and emission are measured, showing the effects on the ionosphere caused by interactions between Saturn’s magnetosphere and the solar wind. These observations are used to place the space conditions around Cassini into a broader context.

Thursday, June 30 (DOY 181):

The Titan Atmospheric Model Working Group met today. The group is re-thinking the Titan T-7 minimum flyby altitude. The group will reconvene on July 12 and finalize a recommendation to Program Management.

Uplink Operations sent commands to the spacecraft to send the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument expanded block file direct to the instrument, to power cycle MAG, and to power-on CAPS.

The preliminary port for S15 occurred as part of the Science Operations Plan update process. The products were merged and reports published for the team to review. The official port is scheduled for Friday, July 8.

Cassini outreach has initiated a photo contest to celebrate the first anniversary of Cassini-Huygens’ successful Saturn orbit insertion on June 30, 2004. The contest is open to the public and flight team members. Voting has now begun and will continue through 5:00 p.m. (PDT) Monday, July 11. The most popular image will be announced on Tuesday July 12. To vote, link to the Cassini web site. UPDATE: As of Tuesday July 5, over 20,000 people had cast their votes!

Friday, July 1 (DOY 182):

Last week it was reported that ISS would be switching to their new flight software version 1.4 sometime in early July. ISS has now elected to defer the permanent switch to the new software until after the Enceladus fly-by to minimize risk to the encounter observations.

Tuesday, July 5 (DOY 186):

All participating teams delivered detailed subsequence files as part of sequence development for S14. The sequence leads will now take these files and merge them to produce a preliminary integrated sequence for the teams to review.

Wednesday, July 6 (DOY 187):

Members of the Navigation Team presented three trajectory options for raising the Titan flyby T7 altitude in response to the Titan Atmospheric Model Working Group meeting. No decisions have been made yet as to whether the T7 altitude will be changed.

The S17 Aftermarket Process assessment meeting was held to review all of the requested changes to the sequence. It looks like all of the changes will fit within available resources. Unless the Target Working Teams and Orbiter Science Teams recommendations change over the next couple of weeks, it is likely that the Decision meeting scheduled in two weeks will be canceled.

The first official Cassini archive delivery to the Planetary Data System (PDS) occurred on July 1. The delivery contains science data from Launch (1997-288) through Saturn Orbit Insertion (SOI) +3 months (2004-275).

The following teams have delivered 100% of their required data: INMS, ISS, MAG, MIMI, RADAR, RPWS, VIMS, and NAIF (Spacecraft, Planet, Instruments, C-matrix, and Events kernels). These data are available on-line from PDS, with the exception of RADAR data that should be on-line soon. The remaining teams have made partial deliveries and are making substantial progress toward achieving 100%.

To subscribe to PDS release announcement of data, please use the following link.

To download Cassini datasets from PDS, use the following link.

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.