Cassini Significant Events for 05/11/06 - 05/17/06

Cassini Significant Events for 05/11/06 - 05/17/06

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday, May 17,
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 .

Thursday, May 11 (DOY 131):
Science activities this week included the continuation of a campaign by
the entire suite of Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) instruments to
simultaneously observe the structure and dynamics of Saturn’s magnetotail at low
latitudes and moderate distances downstream. The Imaging Science
Subsystem (ISS) executed a series of especially interesting observations
using the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) in a search for any evidence of a
Saturn “halo” feature. The halo is an area of highly charged dusty particles
in a strange orbit above Saturn’s pole.

Friday, May 12 (DOY 132):
RADAR performed an engineering test of diagnostic modes on the flight
unit today. Next Tuesday, DOY 136, RADAR will obtain distant Titan
radiometer science and calibration data as well. This observation will be one of
a planned set of observations to survey Titan at varying longitudes to
reveal any broad surface emission variations.

Part two of the S20 background sequence was uplinked to the spacecraft
today. All three portions have been confirmed on board and will begin
execution on Saturday, May 13.

Sorry everyone, but it’s time for a personal favorite. If you go to
the Cassini web site, you will see a stunning image of small, battered
Epimetheus and smog-enshrouded Titan, with Saturn’s A and F rings
stretching across the scene. I happen to like it 'cause it is art and science
rolled into one! Large masses attracting the eye, the division of space by
the rings, a point of focus in little Epimetheus. Science and art, you
gotta love it! To view the image link to:

Tuesday, May 16 (DOY 136):
The Aftermarket Process for the S25 sequence began today. This five
week process will address proposed discretionary changes that require
re-integration of the segments contained in the S25 sequence. An
Assessment package was sent out to reviewers but at this time it looks like all of
the requested changes can fit within the 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.

Wednesday, May 17 (DOY 137):

Uplink Operations radiated the Radio Science Subsystem Live Movable
Block to the spacecraft today at 137T20:57:48. The file is confirmed on board
and registered, and will begin execution DOY 140/09:48:00, as planned.

Orbit trim maneuver (OTM) # 61 was performed today. This is the
approach maneuver setting up for the Titan 14 encounter on May 20, and it
allowed the Spacecraft Team to power on the accelerometer to calibrate the
thrusters following the Monopropellant Tank Assembly recharge of April 10, 2006.
The Reaction Control Subsystem burn began at 6:59 PM PDT. A “quick look”
immediately after the maneuver showed the burn duration was 85.1
seconds, giving a delta-V of 0.12 m/s. All subsystems reported nominal
performance after the maneuver.

This Weekend Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21:
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, invites the
public to “Explore New Worlds” without leaving Southern California. The
laboratory will open its doors during its annual Open House on Saturday and
Sunday, May 20 and 21, from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Cassini will have the half scale spacecraft model out where the public
can get a very close look at it. There will also be a full-scale model of
the Huygens probe with parachute in the landing configuration as it touched
down on Titan. Some of the latest images including a Saturn moon walk with
the major moons of Saturn will be on display, along with a display to
listen to the “Sounds of the Solar System”, including several from Saturn, and
the public can see the Cassini Huygens Ring World planetarium show.

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.