Cassini Significant Events for 06/08/06 - 06/14/06

Cassini Significant Events for 06/08/06 - 06/14/06

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday, June 14, 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, June 8 (159):

Science activities this week began on June 8, with an Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) hunt for Saturn aurorae. This was followed by the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) becoming “prime” and driving the spacecraft orientation for the Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) instruments, pointing and rolling the spacecraft to study the structure and dynamics of Saturn’s magnetotail. Spacecraft control was then turned over to the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) to observe transits of Saturnian moons, followed by more MAPS magnetotail measurements. This pattern of science events repeats until Sunday, June 18.

The Science Planning (SP) lead for S21 has completed the analysis for the Live Inertial Vector Propagator (IVP) update for DOY 178-181. It has been determined that all errors are well within the 2.4 mrad margin. As a result of the SP recommendation, the sequence lead has decided to cancel the S21 Live Update.

The S23 Project Briefing was held today. After receiving management approval, the final product was handed off to the sequence lead for the start of the final development process next week. An outstanding issue for S23 is the allocation of DSN passes from August 19 to September 20. The STEREO launch and lunar flybys and Cassini are in contention for a number of passes during this time frame. Both projects continue to work towards resolution on this issue.

Friday, June 9 (DOY 160):

Cassini Outreach participated in a career day for 250 students at Kenter Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, California.

Uplink Operations radiated the files for the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) flight software checkout today. Registration on board has been confirmed. The file will begin execution on 165T04:29:00.

The Titan Orbiter Science Team hosted a Titan15 to Titan18 preview meeting today. After an overview of flyby geometries and the playback schedule, the instrument teams presented their science objectives and measurement plan for these flybys. The main emphasis this time around will be placed on MAPS. Other items reported included what has been learned, and what will be done in the future.

Cassini has made the cover of the July issue of Astronomy Magazine, and is also featured in the July issue of Discover magazine with a nice ring pictorial.

Monday, June 12 (DOY 163):

After examining the situation, Cassini scientists have agreed that an attempt should not be made to recover science data from Titan 15 should an outage occur during playback. The Mission and Science Planning teams studied the specifics of the T15 high-value data recording and playback in detail. The conclusion was that little high-value data recovery was feasible via an after-the-fact response. The majority of the high-value data will either be played back too late in a pass for a real-time response and then overwritten shortly thereafter, or played back too early in a pass and then overwritten too soon by real-time engineering and MAPS data.

Tuesday, June 13 (DOY 164):

All proposed science and engineering changes were submitted last Friday by teams participating in the S26 Aftermarket process. An assessment package was sent out today for the teams to review. It appears that all of the requested changes can fit within available resources. Unless the recommendations of the Target and Orbiter Science teams change, it is likely that the decision meeting scheduled in two weeks can be canceled.

A kick-off meeting was held today for the final sequence development process for S23. The leads stripped the sequence delivered to them last Friday by Science Planning, and published the team subsequences - pieces - to the project file repository. Any change requests for these files are due by June 19, and the actual updated files are due by June 26.

Many individuals from the Cassini science teams are out of town this week for the MAPS workshop being held at Imperial College in London, England. The workshop begins today and concludes on Friday, June 16. Team meetings for Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer, Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument, and Magnetometer Subsystem will be held today and tomorrow. On Thursday there will be a Titan workshop, and on Friday morning a workshop on planetary rotation modulation phenomena, and in the afternoon, Saturn’s magnetosphere: plasma regions, boundaries, and transport.

Wednesday, June 14 (DOY 165):

The Spacecraft Operations Team and Navigation team hosted an Encounter Strategy meeting for Titan 15-Titan 16 today. This meeting covered the period of time from July 2 through July 22 and Orbit Trim Maneuvers (OTM) 65-67. A reminder was sent to participants that OTM-066 had already been deleted by Navigation back on May 10, 2006.

A delivery coordination meeting was held today for the Spacecraft Operations Office (SCO) Downlink/Uplink Coherency Tool or DUCT version 1.0. This is the tool that will generate CDS commands to pause SSR playback at the spacecraft coherency transition. Playback delay commands are needed to prevent the permanent loss of science and engineering data due to a telemetry gap when a coherency transition occurs. The tool was developed by SCO when data loss “predicted” to be insignificant proved to be to be otherwise, as recent science data returns from Titan observations have shown. Additionally, development and formal testing of such a tool will reduce the risk of errors being introduced with the current manual method of avoiding this problem.

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.