Cassini Significant Events -- for 06/09/05 - 06/15/05

June 17, 2005

(Source: Cassini Project)

Activities this week:

The Optical Remote Sensing (ORS) instruments performed joint observations of Hyperion - including thermal measurements, rotation studies and color determination - and of the Omicron Ceti stellar occultation of the rings. The Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) instruments simultaneously performed low-rate magnetospheric surveys. Individual observations included a Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) regional aurora map, Composite InfraRed Spectrometer (CIRS) thermal measurements of the rings using radial scans, Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) observations of Saturn's southern hemisphere, and Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) particle flux detection during a ring plane crossing on June 10.

Update from last week:

Cassini Outreach gave a sunset talk about the Cassini Mission, science results to date and Saturn viewing at Yavapai Point at Grand Canyon National Park Tuesday, June 7th. Approximately 100 park visitors attended the Cassini and Saturn talk before heading out to view Saturn and other celestial objects through 50 telescopes at the annual Grand Canyon Star party. Hundreds of people per night have also viewed Saturn through three Saturn Observation Campaign telescopes, which were part of the 50 telescopes set up for the public on the rim of the Grand Canyon Star Party June 4 - June 12.

Thursday, June 9 (DOY 160):

Uplink Operations radiated commands for the ISS Flight Software checkout from the Madrid DSN complex today. The checkout will execute on Tuesday. In addition, the System Fault Protection Command Loss Timer (CLT) strategy was commanded back to 85 hours. There was the potential that occultation events on June 8 might interfere with normal commanding so the strategy was modified as a precaution for the duration of the Radio Science occultation event. 

The Integrated Test Laboratory (ITL) completed tests with the VIMS instrument using the new Alf tool to process VIMS Instrument Expanded Blocks (IEB).

The S12 Final Sequence Integration and Validation final products were released this morning for review by the sequence team. Final checklists and reports are due by noon Friday.

Friday, June 10 (DOY 161):

A command approval meeting was held today for the eight S12 IEB files to be uplinked to the spacecraft beginning on June 13.

A close-up shot of Titan's cryovolcano as pictured by VIMS is Astronomy Picture of the Day today. 

A Science Adaptation Panel (SAP) Meeting was held today for S13 to allocate the extra data volume that has been determined to exist in the plan.

Outreach gave three talks at Palisades Charter School on Friday, June 10, 2005. The talks were to three 9-10 science "survey" classes and provided students with an overview of the Cassini Mission along with career opportunities in the sciences. Ninety five students and three teachers attended.

Monday, June 13 (DOY 164):

The S12 final sequence approval meeting and background sequence command approval meeting were held today. Uplinks for S12 begin with three IEBs today, the remainder tomorrow, and the background sequence on Wednesday. S12 goes active on Friday, June 17.

Back on May 11 it was reported that Uplink Operations was considering splitting the S13 background sequence into two parts. The reason for the split was that as development continued, it appeared that the sequence would be too large to fit into the region of memory assigned for this program. This morning the S13 Preliminary Sequence Integration and Validation (PSIV)1 integrated products were generated. Based on those products, the sequence is 102,235 words and ***does fit*** in the CDS sequencing memory. The sequence leads anticipate minimal changes to the PSIV2 and Final SIV products, so as it stands now, we will not need to split the sequence.

Tuesday, June 14 (DOY 165):

The remainder of the S12 IEBs were uplinked today. 

The JPL Science Division (32) announced that they are continuing the monthly, 45 minute, all-Lab "Science 101" lecture series. On Thursday, June 16, a talk on "Unraveling the Secrets of Saturn's Moons" will be given by a Cassini Science team member.

ISS performed a flight software checkout today. Preliminary analysis showed a completely successful test.

Wednesday, June 15 (DOY 166):

A delivery coordination meeting was held today for Mission Sequence Subsystem version D11. The delivery package, installation plans, and instructions were reviewed and approved. The software will be used in the development of S15 in the Science Operations Plan Update process and of S14 in the Science and Sequence Update Process.

A Planetary Data System peer review was held for the Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) and Cassini Plasma Spectrometer. The review went well with minor liens identified. Additionally, all parties have signed off the Archive Software Interface Specification documents for the Magnetometer Subsystem, MIMI, ISS and VIMS.

On Wednesday, June 8, 2005 a member of Cassini's Mission Support and Services Office gave a talk at the La Canada Kiwanis Club. Approximately 50 members of the community including several retired JPL employees attended the lunchtime talk.

Outreach launched a new monthly email service for Cassini scientists, Solar System Ambassadors, Museum Alliance Members, and other interested parties. The monthly email highlights recent science discoveries from Cassini-Huygens, announces upcoming spacecraft events, and previews the upcoming CHARM talk. To subscribe to the monthly highlights, join the Cassini mailing list at:

Below are some of the highlights from the May release:

A Volcano on Titan?

Radio Science Occultations

Titan Atmosphere

Cassini Spies New Moon

Bright Spot on Titan


In June the CHARM telecon will take a look at the first year of orbital operations at Saturn. Science highlights, spacecraft operations, and a look ahead at the coming year in orbit will all be presented. The telecon is scheduled for Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. For information on how to join the telecon, contact the CHARM leads at:

Wrap up:

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday from the Madrid tracking stations. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and all subsystems are operating normally. Check out the Cassini web site at for the latest press releases and images.

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