NASA Cassini Significant Events 04/28/10 - 05/04/10

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Saturday, May 15, 2010

image The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on May 4th from the Deep Space Network tracking complex at Madrid, Spain. 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:

Wednesday, April 28 (DOY 118)

Both Sun Sensor Assemblies (SSA) performed normally after the Enceladus 9 flyby yesterday. After the performance of all four quadrants was verified, a real time command file was uplinked to the spacecraft to turn off the backup assembly SSA-B.

Thursday, April 29 (DOY 119)

A kickoff meeting was held today to begin the process of generating and approving a Live Update for Iapetus observations on DOY 123. After examining the files for the update, Science Planning recommended a NO GO for the update. When team members for the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) and Imaging Science (ISS) concurred - the prime instruments affected - the update was cancelled.

Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #245 was performed today. This was the cleanup maneuver following the Enceladus 9 encounter on April 27. The main engine burn began at 5:59 AM PDT. Telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed a burn duration of 33.25 seconds, giving a delta-V of 5.71 m/s. All subsystems reported normal performance after the maneuver.

A feature story called "Cassini and Amateurs Chase Storm on Saturn" describes the collaboration between Cassini team members and amateur astronomers on tracking storms on Saturn. Images from amateur astronomers have been linked with data from the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS).

The data showed a large, turbulent storm, dredging up material from the deep atmosphere and covering an area at least five times larger than the biggest blizzard in this year's Washington, D.C.-area storm nicknamed "Snowmageddon." For the full details link to:

Friday, April 30 (DOY 120)

A news note entitled "Cassini Returning Enceladus Gravity Data" described the successful completion of the E9 Enceladus flyby on April 27. The Radio Science Team performed a 26-hour gravity observation, acquiring radiometric data that scientists will use to understand the moon's interior composition and mass distribution in the region around the south pole. For more details, see:

Monday, May 3 (DOY 123)

This week the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer performed equatorial global mosaic observations of Saturn to support the study of Saturn atmospheric dynamics, and observed the E and G rings. ISS performed a Wide Angle Camera observation of Saturn, and an observation of Iapetus. RADAR observed Titan from a distance using the Radiometry mode. The Cassini Plasma Spectrometer continued a survey of the Saturn magnetosphere. CIRS measured oxygen compounds of Saturn as a function of latitude. UVIS observed Enceladus in the vicinity of the plume, studying changes in the volatile gases and searching for possible connections with plume eruptions. The Magnetometer performed a 6-hour calibration activity. Called a "cal roll," the activity put the spacecraft in a series of slow rolls about one of its axes. The Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) pointed the spacecraft towards the known direction of interstellar dust sources from outside our solar system.

On Friday, Port 2 Spacecraft Activity Sequence Files were delivered as part of the S63 Science Operations Plan process, and today the Port 3 files for S62 were delivered.

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