Cassini Significant Event Report
For Week Ending 11/07/03
The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Goldstone tracking station on Wednesday, November 5. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and is operating normally. Information on the spacecraft's position and speed can be viewed on the "Present Position" web page.
On-board activities this week included Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) high frequency receiver calibrations, uplink of an RPWS Instrument Expanded Block (IEB) load test, a command to halt the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) IEB in slot 2, a Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument data rate throttle down, and execution of an X-band body vector table update.
The University of Iowa has released additional information regarding RPWS recordings of the sound of one of the largest solar flares seen in decades as it moved outward from the sun. The radio wave burst was recorded Tuesday, October 28, by Cassini. The radio waves, moving at the speed of light, took just 69 minutes to reach the spacecraft, currently some 8.7 Astronomical Units (AU) distant from Earth. One AU is approximately 150 million kilometers.
Port #1 analysis of the Science Operations Plan Implementation for tour sequences S05 and S06 was completed. A number of problems were found that will need to be resolved by the final input port in mid November.
The Program conducted the Saturn Orbit Insertion (SOI) Risk Review on Thursday, 10/30. This was an external review convened to assess the risks and risk mitigation measures associated with a successful Saturn orbit insertion. The board was comprised of independent reviewers from JPL, other NASA agencies, industry, and private consultants. Closing comments from the board were very positive.
All teams and offices participated in this month's NASA Quarterly Review.
An informal peer review was held for the Cassini Archive Tracking System (CATS). Software design and technologies were discussed with representatives from JPL's section 382 and the Planetary Data System who made recommendations to the development team.
Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer personnel conducted a ground acceptance test of their instrument flight software version 8.1. The spectral summing capability worked flawlessly. Regression testing will now begin.
The Multi Mission Image Processing Laboratory reprocessed many Imaging Subsystem (ISS) Narrow-angle calibration files from pre-launch data. A correction step was added to eliminate anti-blooming artifacts that won't show up in flight data. The reprocessed data have been delivered to the ISS Science Team.
CDA flight software V 9.2.0 was delivered to the project software library. Preliminary Alf_Tool checks indicate no errors. A Software Requirements and Certification Review is to be scheduled in mid-November with an uplink date set for mid-January 2004.
A Delivery Coordination Meeting was held for Spacecraft Operations Office (SCO) Solaris 9 tools. Most of the items being delivered were ports of existing tools to the new operating system. The delivery included Propulsion Tools V3.0, High Gain Antenna Tools 10.0, Maneuver Automation Software 4.0, MPLOT 1.6, and Telecom Forecaster Predictor 3.2.
Bookmarks announcing Cassini's elementary school education program "Reading, Writing, and Rings" are available through the Cassini Outreach Office for distribution at education conferences and classrooms. Both Spanish and English versions are available.
Additional information about Cassini-Huygens is online at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.
Cassini will begin orbiting Saturn on July 1, 2004, and release its piggybacked Huygens probe about six months later for descent through the thick atmosphere of the moon Titan. Cassini-Huygens is a cooperative mission of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.