Cassini Significant Event Report
For Week Ending 07/30/04
The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Madrid tracking station on Wednesday, July 28. 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 .
On-board science activities included Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph observations of Saturn's aurora as well as solar wind measurements by the suite of Magnetospheric and Plasma Science instruments. Spacecraft events included the uplink of instrument expanded block files, the background sequence, and an ACS reaction wheel assembly bias all in preparation for S03. S03 begins execution on board the spacecraft on Friday July 30.
A wrap up meeting was held for Science Operations Plan (SOP) Implementation of tour sequences S31/S32. The products have been archived and will resurface in February of 2007 for the start of the Aftermarket process. Analysis of the Port 1 S33/S34 products by the Attitude Control System Team has concluded. Teams are now making revisions for preliminary Port 2 next week. SOP update official port#1 for tour sequence S05 occurred this week. The files were merged and a report identifying problem areas to be worked was generated and distributed to the team.
The Aftermarket decision meeting to determine what changes will be accepted for S07 was cancelled. The number of requested changes was less than the number of allocated work units for this sequence and is well within the resources of the team to implement.
As part of S03 development activities, a command approval meeting was held for Cosmic Dust Analyzer flight software load files. These files will be uplinked to the spacecraft next week. Development of S04 continued with the publication of two versions of the Preliminary Sequence Integration and Validation (PSIV) Cycle 1 integrated sequence products. One version contained the background sequence only, and the other the background sequence, a science mini-sequence, and an Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer mini-sequence.
During the course of last week, 108 Cassini-related papers were presented at this year's Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) meeting in Paris, France. On Saturday, an all-day Cassini session was very well attended. Each team presented invited papers along with additional scientific papers.
A Titan workshop is planned for early September at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. At this workshop the Cassini Orbiter observations of the atmosphere of Titan and other relevant ground-based observations will be reviewed. Participants will re-assess their understanding of the upper atmosphere of Titan with the specific objective of validating the engineering models of Titan's atmosphere that are to be used for the final Huygens probe release preparatory activities. The workshop is open to all Cassini-Huygens scientists and invited non Cassini-Huygens scientists. Check the Goddard website for more information.
Cassini Outreach participated in ASTROCON2004, a meeting of the Astronomical League (AL), Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (A.L.P.O.), American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) July 20 - 24, 2004 in Berkeley CA. Around 300 mostly amateur astronomers from around the USA and from Finland and Australia attended. Cassini Outreach participated in a solar system panel discussion, provided outreach material for a JPL Solar System Ambassador display table, and visited several conference venues with Cassini connections. Chabot Space & Science Center (Oakland, CA) was showing Ring World, and had a model of Cassini prominently displayed near the entrance. Lick Observatory (San Jose, CA) staffers were shown the Cassini images of the Keeler Gap in Saturn's A ring. At the closing banquet aboard the USS Hornet aircraft carrier (Alameda, CA), speaker Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean was presented with a set of Cassini postcards and stickers. After looking at the images he commented to Cassini Outreach "What a successful mission Cassini is"!
The Cassini Project Science Office hosted the first monthly telecon of science results from the mission this week. The Cassini-Huygens Analysis and Results of the Mission (CHARM) is an informal telecon where invited speakers discuss recent released findings from the spacecraft's 4-year tour of Saturn. Telecons are held on the last Tuesday of every month. The next scheduled CHARM telecon will occur Tuesday, August 31. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The new Saturn Observation Campaign (SOC) worldwide members map can be seen on the SOC members page here: http://soc.jpl.nasa.gov/images/members-worldmap.gif . SOC currently has 340 members in 43 US states and also in 43 countries around the world.
Cassini and Mars Outreach hosted the International Storytelling Center at CalTech this week. Scientists, engineers and outreach staff from both areas are participating in the event.
A beautiful picture of Saturn's Rings was Astronomy Picture of the Day on July 23.
Please link to http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov for additional articles, images, and information.