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NASA Cassini Significant Events 12/26/07 - 01/01/08

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2008

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The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 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: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/present-position.cfm.

Wednesday, Dec. 26 (DOY 360):

Today Imaging Science (ISS) obtained images to be used to produce a mosaic of the rings against the bright planet limb at low phase. ISS also observed the outer moon Kiviuq. The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) observed the rings for production of a mosaic of the unlit face of the entire ring system near apoapse.

Thursday, Dec. 27 (DOY 361):

Orbit 55 began today with Cassini at apoapsis at a distance of 36.5 Rs from Saturn, an inclination angle of 37.7 degrees, and a 37 degree phase angle. The Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) monitored the F Ring, and the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) did a stare at Tethys to search for signs of an atmosphere. 

An encounter strategy meeting was held to cover the period between Jan. 5 and Jan. 22, Titan flybys T40 and T41, and maneuvers 143-145.

Friday, Dec. 28 (DOY 362):

Science activities today included ISS observations of the outer moon Albiorix, and a UVIS stellar calibration with alpha Virginis as the target.

Saturday, Dec. 29 (DOY 363):

Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #141 was performed today. This is the apoapsis maneuver setting up for the Titan 40 encounter on Jan. 05. The main engine burn began at 5:14 AM PST. Telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed the burn duration was 12.6 seconds, giving a delta-V of 2.05 m/s. All subsystems reported nominal performance after the maneuver. OTM #141 is the 141st maneuver to be designed and analyzed since SOI, but since several maneuvers have been able to be cancelled (41 to be exact), this maneuver is the 100th to be performed in orbit at Saturn.

Monday, Dec. 31 (DOY 365):

The last day of the year finds the VIMS instrument staring at the F ring to collect data to build a 360 deg azimuthal map of the ring.

Tuesday, Jan. 1 (DOY 001):

CIRS will kick off science activities for 2008 by taking temperature measurements of the rings as well as performing IR-mapping studies of Saturn. The Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) instrument teams will be running alongside in survey mode.

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