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Cassini Update
Cassini Update
19 Apr 2002
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Cassini Significant Events for 04/11/02 - 04/17/02

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Goldstone tracking station on Wednesday, April 17. 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.

The primary activity on board the spacecraft this week was Probe Checkout (PCO) #9. The checkout was completed successfully. However, during the checkout, Goldstone Deep Space Station (DSS) 25 was required to end track and stow its antenna early due to high winds. The resulting telemetry outage caused the loss of PCO #9 real-time data and was expected to continue though the time allotted for PCO recorded data playback. At the request of Huygens Probe Operations Center personnel, with Cassini Program Manager concurrence, and with prior notification given to affected instruments, the Spacecraft Office built a real-time command to inhibit writing of Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) data on the Solid State Recorder. This preserved the PCO data for playback at the next scheduled track. About 20 hours of MAPS data was lost. The pass over DSS 45 was then used to playback the PCO data and resume normal C31 activities.

Additional instrument and spacecraft activities included the uplink of real-time commands to modify the Radio and Plasma Wave Science Instrument Expanded Block to fine tune resolution of data collected, clearing of the ACS high water marks, an autonomous CDS Solid State Recorder memory load partition repair, a demonstration over DSS 45 of the new Version 26.4 Command System, and uplink of a Privileged Action Program to disable/enable the Solid State Power Switch trip Fault Protection in support of the Probe checkout.

Science Planning reported that all Target Working Teams made the delivery for the Science Operations Plan integration activity for orbits 15 through 20. The Instrument Operations Science Data Archive Engineer is conducting a Planetary Data Archive Workshop in conjunction with the Huygens Science Working Team meeting being held this week in Paris, France.

After last week's delivery coordination meeting for Cosmic Dust Analyzer flight software, it was identified that V9 may generate invalid packet IDs. Workarounds were discussed and a final decision regarding uplink will be determined by next week.

Mission Support and Services Office (MSSO) personnel met with Radio Science and the DSN Network Operations Project Engineer to discuss uplink transfers for the next Superior Conjunction Experiment. During the Gravitational Wave Experiment last December, about a dozen uplink transfers failed, each causing more than 2 hours outage in prime mission science data. The most likely cause identified was the setting DSS waiting too long to initiate tune-out. It was resolved that a briefing message will be sent to the DSN specifying begin tune-out time based on Spacecraft Office telecom analysis.

All teams and offices supported the Cassini Monthly Management Review.

The Program Manager gave a presentation to the JPL Executive Council on the issue of providing real-time communications during the SOI burn by doing the burn at Earth-line attitude. It is feasible to provide telemetry during all of the burn except for a period where the spacecraft is occulted by the rings, but at a cost in science return and propellant usage. Further studies were requested.

MSSO personnel gave a talk and museum tour to attendees of a NASA Administrative Issues Conference held at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Cassini 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, Calif., manages the Cassini mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.

Cassini Outreach
Cassini Mission to Saturn and Titan
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Last Updated: 19 Apr 2002