Cassini Significant Events for 08/03/06 - 08/09/06

Cassini Significant Events for 08/03/06 - 08/09/06

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday, August 9, 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 http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/present-position.cfm .

Thursday, August 3 (DOY 215):

Due to superior conjunction and the reduction in communications quality with the spacecraft, science this week was limited to Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) instruments, as they performed magnetospheric surveys. More specifically, the Radio and Plasma Wave Science instrument (RPWS) mapped the occurrence of plasma waves in the Saturnian magnetosphere to determine their role in magnetospheric processes, and performed a series of observations to establish the nature of the solar wind.

NASA Astronauts Stephanie Wilson and Piers Sellars visited the Cassini real-time operations area this evening.

Monday, August 7 (DOY 219):

Minimum separation angle between Earth, the spacecraft, and the sun occurred this morning. The Radio Science Solar Corona Characterization Experiment continued with the spacecraft maintaining a high-gain antenna to Earth attitude and 1896 bps telemetry.

A project level Operations Readiness Test began today and will run till the end of the week. The purpose of the test is to exercise the flight team in the processes and procedures to be followed in the event that an Orbit Trim Maneuver fails to execute. The test conductor, in this case the Spacecraft Operations Office manager, came up with the fault to use in the test. It was decided that at the end of S23 - remember that we are currently flying S22 on the spacecraft - an OTM would only partially execute, the spacecraft would be found to have entered safe mode, the next OTM will be due to execute within three days, and the day after that a live moveable block would need to be uplinked if we were to salvage a Radio Science Saturn occultation. Six days after that the next background sequence would be scheduled to start. Remember this is only a test!

The Science Operations Plan Update kickoff meeting for S26 was held today.

Wednesday, August 9 (DOY 221):

Cassini’s own Project Scientist gave a talk to the flight team today entitled “Messages from the Icy Saturnian Satellites.”

A delivery coordination meeting was held today for a patch delivery of Mission Sequence Subsystem version D12.0.1. The delivery was driven by the need to fix problems in SEQGEN core that impact the ability to split sequences. It is believed that S25 has a high potential for being larger than the space available to store it on the spacecraft, and thus splitting would be necessary. As a patch release, D12.0.1 will overlay D12.0 and will be invisible to users.

Wrap up:

Check out the Cassini web site at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov 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.