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Cassini Update
Cassini Update
6 Dec 2002
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Cassini Significant Events
for 11/26/02 - 12/04/02

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Madrid tracking station on Monday, November 25. 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 C34 sequence concluded this week with the completion of the Probe Relay Test #5, uplink of the C35 background sequence, Radio and Plasma Wave (RPWS) Science High Frequency Receiver calibrations and high rate cyclics, a Reaction Wheel Assembly (RWA) slow-speed readout, clearing of the ACS high-water marks, and an autonomous Solid State Recorder Memory Load Partition repair.

The Probe Relay Test was considered to be a limited success. All transmissions to the spacecraft were received and processed properly, but problems at the DSN station prevented all test objectives from being fully met.

The C35 background sequence began execution on Saturday, 30 November. Initial spacecraft activities included a number of RWA activities including transition from Reaction Control Subsystem to RWA control, an RWA unload, a slow speed readout, and an exercise of RWA #4. Engine Gimbal Actuator and Backup ALF Injection Loader maintenance were also performed.

Instrument activities included uplink of the RPWS looper program, a Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer and Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph solar port observation, exercising of the Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) Low Energy Magnetospheric Measurement Subsystem motor, restoration of the MIMI Ion and Neutral Camera HV levels, a Cosmic Dust Analyzer high rate detector calibration, and a number of Radio Science Subsystem activities.

During the final pass before the end of C34 and the beginning of C35, Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) had a channel go into alarm for low temperature. Subsequent analysis determined that the commands to bring CAPS out of sleep after the Probe test were built incorrectly. An Immediate/Delayed Action Program was built and sent to the instrument to stop the actuator, reset it, and set the RAM to zero. After uplink the CAPS team reported that the transition sequence was triggered and successfully re-configured the instrument. CAPS is now running in a fully configured and nominal state.

The Cassini Program hosted a week of Huygens meetings at JPL. Events included the Huygens Descent Trajectory Working Group meeting, a Probe Checkout #10 Review, and a Quarterly Progress meeting. Some of the topics discussed included activities status, entry angle issues, mission timeline and schedules, and navigation and pre-heating implementation studies.

Rescheduling of the SIRTF launch to mid April '03 has removed potential conflicts with DSN coverage for the Cassini ACS/CDS flight software checkout in C36. DSN schedule impacts in C37 are unknown. Mission Planning will track DSN coverage for that time frame as Trajectory Correction Maneuver 19 is scheduled to occur on May 1. Additionally, some Cassini trained ACE personnel with SIRTF may now be available to support tracks for the Gravitational Wave Experiment.

An engineering prototype version of the electronic command request form (eCRF) v1 was released this week. The system will be used in parallel with Cassini's existing process. Full conversion to eCRF will occur in late 2003.

Mission Assurance and European Space Agency (ESA) Risk Management personnel met this week to discuss the Risk Management process/philosophy on Cassini, and determine how best to work the ESA/Huygens Probe portion of the process. Probe Mission risks currently identified in the Cassini Significant Risk List clearly indicate a very orbiter-centric view. This was the first of several meetings to be conducted in the coming months in an effort to effectively capture and document risks from an ESA/Huygens Probe perspective.

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: 10 Dec 2002