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Cassin Swaps Thrusters
Cassin Swaps Thrusters
12 Mar 2009
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Cassini-Huygens Mission Status Report

PASADENA, Calif. - Early this morning the Cassini spacecraft relayed
information that it had successfully swapped to a backup set of
propulsion thrusters late Wednesday.

The swap was performed because of degradation in the performance of the
primary thrusters, which had been in use since Cassini's launch in 1997.
This is only the second time in Cassini's 11 years of flight that the
engineering teams have gone to a backup system.

The thrusters are used for making small corrections to the spacecraft's
course, for some attitude control functions, and for making angular
momentum adjustments in the reaction wheels, which also are used for
attitude control. The redundant set is an identical set of eight
thrusters. Almost all Cassini engineering subsystems have redundant
backup capability.

Cassini has successfully completed its original four-year planned tour
of Saturn and is now in extended mission operations.

More information on the mission is available at:
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini. The
Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European
Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini
mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The
Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL.

Media contact: Carolina Martinez 818-354-9382
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
carolina.martinez@jpl.nasa.gov

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Last Updated: 14 Mar 2009