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Cassini Update
Cassini Update
11 Feb 2004
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

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

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Goldstone tracking station on Monday, February 9. 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 located at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/present-position.cfm .

The Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) and Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) solar wind observations concluded this week. Cassini has begun taking data for the first color Saturn and ring approach movies. Ultraviolet mosaics of the Saturn magnetosphere continue to map neutral and ion photon emissions to derive the distribution and density of atomic and molecular species.

Additional on board activities included uplink and execution of power cycle commands to perform a Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) Low Energy Magnetospheric Measurement Subsystem recovery, execution of the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) flight software checkout, a Cassini Plasma Spectrometer configuration, calibration and master instrument expanded block load for participation in solar wind survey observations, uplink and execution of Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) diagnostic flight software, deactivation and deregistration of the INMS memory dump mini-sequence, RPWS high frequency receiver calibrations, a reaction wheel unload, and clearing of the ACS high water marks.

The Navigation team acquired 15 out of 16 scheduled optical navigation (OPNAV) images of the small Saturnian satellites this week. Spacecraft pointing for all received frames was excellent. These were the first sets of images dedicated towards optical navigation of Cassini. Previous OPNAVs were performed only for calibration purposes.

The C43 Final Sequence Integration and Validation (FSIV) Sequence Change Request approval meeting was held this week with sequence approval scheduled for Thursday. The Preliminary Sequence Integration and Validation (PSIV) sub-phase has begun for approach science sequence C44.

A wrap up meeting was held for Science Operations Plan (SOP) implementation of tour sequences S21, and S22. These sequences will be archived until February of 2006 when the S21 aftermarket process begins. Preliminary port 1 deliveries were made for SOP Implementation of tour sequences S23 and S24.

Spacecraft Operations successfully completed a dry run rehearsal of the Probe Relay demonstration in the ITL last week. This week, an internal peer review was held for this activity. The actual demonstration will execute on the spacecraft in February and March of this year. The Probe Relay Demo simulates the actual Relay sequence to be used in January 2005 when the Huygens Probe reaches Titan.

Cassini and other JPL personnel supported the co-located panel meetings for the Huygens Mission delta Flight Acceptance Review (FAR) at Alcatel. The three panels went through all the Review Item Discrepancies (RIDs) submitted by the reviewers. The RIDs were processed with either a closure response or further action was assigned. The follow on actions were to either clarify points in certain documents, perform additional confirming analysis or testing. Each panel has prepared reports that will be submitted to the final board meeting being held on February 13.

The Cassini Radio Science Task Lead presented a briefing to the Program Manager and Cassini staff on the status of the anomaly of the Ka-band Translator (KaT). A representative from Alenia Spazio, the manufacturer of the KaT, traveled from Italy to participate. The presenters gave the background and history of the anomaly as well as the current plans for attempted recovery, probably starting in mid March.

VIMS instrument personnel attended a team meeting in Tucson, Arizona. Topics of discussion included tour operations and plans.

So far at least 295 VIMS data cubes have been received during C42. Data from last weeks VIMS flight software checkout has been initially processed. This version 8.1 upgrade was to add the capability to spectrally sum the data. The software appears to have performed properly, and the spectrums summed as expected.

A delivery coordination meeting was held for the Command Database version D10C.

Cassini presentations were given this week at career day events for the American Association of University Women, and to 250 students at Bell Gardens High School in Montebello, California.

The European Space Agency has released the February 2004 Huygens Status Report. Topics include the revised mission implementation, and Delta Flight Acceptance Review status. For more information go to: http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=34617

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: 18 Feb 2004