Status Report

NASA Cassini Significant Events for 11/30/06 – 12/06/06

By SpaceRef Editor
December 8, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA Cassini Significant Events  for 11/30/06 – 12/06/06

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday, December 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 .

Wednesday, November 30 (DOY 333):

In support of the NASA Science Mission Directorate booth at the American
Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, CA next week, Cassini
Outreach provided handout materials and a set of recent Cassini images for
distribution. In addition, several scientists will give short talks for the
public on recent Cassini findings at this event.

Outreach has provided a number of statistics for FY2006:

– Saturn Observation Campaign members conducted 601 events reaching 71,845
participants with 354 volunteers in 45 states/48 countries

– Cassini’s Formal Education module “Reading, Writing & Rings” reached over
1, 400 educators.

– Cassini outreach sent out over 161,000 pieces of materials to schools,
speaker groups and the public.

– The website for the Cassini-Huygens Analysis and Results of the Mission
(CHARM) teleconference had over 10,000 downloads in October 2006.

In FY2007, outreach is developing a web-based Titan interactive webpage in
partnership with PlanetQuest outreach. Other moons of Saturn will be
highlighted in future versions, and the 2006 Cassini photo contest will
debut late December for public voting.

Thursday, November 30 (DOY 334):

The Spacecraft Operations Office held an Engineering Activities Review for
events to occur during S31.

As a normal safety precaution, commands were sent to the spacecraft today to
set the value of the command loss timer (CLT) to 5 days. The nominal value
is 85 hours, or about 3.5 days. The reason for the change is that Cassini
currently has no DSN tracks scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. In the event
that the track on Monday was lost, the sequence leads would be unable to
send the CLT reset command, and when the spacecraft did not hear from the
ground it would activate system fault protection.

Friday, December 1 (DOY 335):

The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer took data for an 11-hour
thermal map of Saturn.

Commands were sent to the spacecraft to patch the Solid State Power Switch
24 error monitor to zero and then perform a memory readout. This is part of
the cleanup activity from when the switch tripped last week. A Live Inertial
Vector Propagator update for Telesto and Titan non-targeted flybys was
uplinked, along with a mini-sequence that will run concurrently with the
background sequence until January 5. This sponge bit mini-sequence allocates
our extra bits due to DSN margin. The allocation to the instruments for
these bits could not be made at the time S26 was developed due to the
absence of a final DSN station allocation file.

Saturday, December 2 (DOY 336):

A non-targeted flyby of Titan occurred today at an altitude of 945,000 km.
The Optical Remote Sensing Instruments observed the F ring during a stellar

Sunday, December 3 (DOY 337):

A non-targeted flyby of Telesto occurred today at an altitude of 101,770 km.

Monday, December 4 (DOY 338):

Science activities today included the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
observing the shadow boundary off the main rings looking for faint ring
material, and then performing an observation designed to capture the
formation of ring spokes.

Tuesday, December 5 (DOY 339):

Preliminary port one products were due today as part of the Science
Operations Plan Update process for S29. The official port occurs on December
13, and the products are handed off for the final sequence development
process on January 16.

The project has made the decision to cancel Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #82,
the Titan 21 approach maneuver planned for December 9. The final delta-V
estimate for this maneuver was under 5 mm/seconds, well below the minimum
reaction control subsystem maneuver capability. OTM-83 currently has a mean
delta-V value of about 1 m/s, so cancellation of OTM-83 is unlikely.

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 Spsce 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.