Status Report

NASA Cassini Significant Events for 11/07/07 – 11/13/07

By SpaceRef Editor
November 20, 2007
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NASA Cassini Significant Events for 11/07/07 – 11/13/07

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from the Goldstone tracking complex. 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, Nov. 7 (DOY 311):

Cassini was featured in the October issue of National Geographic magazine with a full-page article on Radar images of the seas. Cassini was also featured in two special issues this fall celebrating 50 years in space: Discover magazine’s “The History of Space Travel” and Sky and Telescope’s “Space: 50 Years and Counting.” And just in time for the holidays, Cassini is on the cover of the December issue of Sky and Telescope with a sweeping view of Saturn.

The S39 Science Operations Plan Update process kicked off today. The official input port will occur on Dec. 5 and the process will conclude on Dec. 21, just in time for Christmas.

Thursday, Nov. 8 (DOY 312):

An encounter strategy meeting was held today to cover the period between Nov. 19 and Dec. 5, Titan flybys T37 and T38, and maneuvers 134-136. Imaging Science (ISS) continued monitoring the low latitudes of Saturn around 0-15N, while the Magnetospheric and Plasma Science instruments monitored the solar wind, and the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph observed the distribution of interplanetary hydrogen.

Friday, Nov. 9 (DOY 313):

An AACS Periodic Engineering Maintenance (PEM) activity executed today.

PEMs are performed every 90 days, and exercise the Engine Gimbal Actuators and the backup reaction wheel assembly, RWA-3. In the RWA exercise, the wheel is commanded to +100 rpm, -100 rpm, 0 rpm, then turned off. Monday, Nov. 12 (DOY 316)

Twenty-seven years ago today, the Voyager 1 spacecraft flew by Saturn and Titan. The Voyager mission paved the way for future interest in a Saturn orbiter with multiple visits to the satellite Titan. The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan can trace its roots back to the efforts of the Voyager team.

After completing an ISS G ring movie and downlinking the day’s new discoveries to Earth, Cassini turned to the F ring for ISS monitoring. This was followed by UVIS mapping the Saturn system in the far and extreme ultraviolet. These EUV/FUV surveys are designed to map the planet’s aurorae and study the aerosols in the planet’s stratosphere. Cassini’s location, still over two million kilometers from Saturn, is well suited to such long-range scans of the Saturnian system. Tomorrow ISS will track the moons Pan, Pandora, Epimetheus, Pallene and Calypso to better pin down their orbits. Then the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer will observe the Pleiades as part of regularly scheduled sensor calibration.

Tuesday, Nov. 13 (DOY 317)

Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday next week, there will be no Significant Events Report. The report the following week will cover a two-week period. Your homework for over the holiday is assigned by the folks from the Saturn Observation Campaign: Saturn, with its dramatically closed rings, is a beautiful morning target, placed between brighter Venus and Mars. At west quadrature in November – 90 degrees west of the sun as seen from Earth – Saturn rises at midnight, reaches its highest point at dawn and looks most three dimensional this month and next. Get out there and take a look!

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.