The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on June 2 from the Deep Space Network tracking complex at Goldstone, California. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and all subsystems are operating normally. Information on the present position and speed of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the "Present Position" page at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/presentposition/.
Wednesday, May 27 (DOY 147)
A kickoff meeting was held today for the S55 Science Operations Plan process. The process runs for approximately 15 weeks and will conclude on Aug. 28 when it will be handed off to Uplink Operations for final development and execution.
An encounter strategy meeting was held today to cover the period between June 6 and June 22, Titan flybys T56 and T57, and maneuvers 200-202.
Saturday, May 30 (DOY 150):
Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #198 was performed today. This is the apoapsis maneuver setting up for the Titan 56 encounter on June 6. The main engine burn began at 3:14 AM PDT. Telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed the burn duration was 8.7 seconds, giving a delta-V of 1.46 m/s as planned.
All subsystems reported nominal performance after the maneuver.
Monday, June 1 (DOY 152):
Sequence development for S51 entered the final phase of the final development process last week. At that time it was determined that the sequence had become too large to fit in the memory space available for it on board the spacecraft. As a result, S51 has been split into two parts. Part one executes from June 12 until July 7 when part two begins. Part two will conclude on July 23.
ACS flight software version A8.7.7 was uplinked to the spacecraft over DSN passes on May 26 and 27, and installed on the ACS flight computers on May 31 and June 1. The final step in this activity will be software normalization which will occur June 15 and 16.
All participating teams submitted files for the third and final port as part of the S53 Science Operations Plan process. The files will be merged tomorrow and released to the project teams.
Tuesday, June 2 (DOY 153)
A beautiful image of spokes in the rings of Saturn was Astronomy Picture of the Day today. Check it out at:
The downstream propellant cost of canceling OTM #199 was not significantly different from the cost if the maneuver was executed. Therefore, the project decided to save a cycle on the thrusters and OTM-199 was canceled.
Cassini Outreach has released the names of the Cassini Scientist for a Day Spring 2009 Essay Contest winners. And the winners are:.
Grade 5-6 Category Winners:
· Jonathan Provencal, a 5th grade student at Holliman School in Warwick, RI, for his essay on Dione.
· Raymond Friend, a 6th grade student at Perkiomen Valley Middle School East in Collegeville, PA, for his essay on Prometheus and Saturn¹s rings.
· Kayla Morrison, a 5th grade student at Beech Tree Elementary School in Falls Church, VA, for her essay on Janus and Epimetheus.
Grade 7-8 Category Winners:
· Alyssa Mayer and Amela Mehanovic, 8th grade students at H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square, NY, for their essay on Dione.
· Gulliermo (Willy) Rios, a 7th grade student at Sean Jeanne de Lestonnac in Tustin, CA, for his essay on Prometheus and Saturn¹s Rings.
· Kabir Brar, a 7th grade student at Kilmer Middle School in Vienna, VA, for his essay on Janus and Epimetheus.
Grade 9-12 Category Winners:
· Katherine McCarthy, a 12th grade student at Seminole Ridge Community High School in Loxahatchee, FL, for her essay on Dione.
· Chelsea Kraynak, a 10th grade student at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD, for her essay on Prometheus and Saturn¹s Rings.
· Anthony Bass, an 11th grade student at Seminole Ridge Community High School in Loxahatchee, FL, for his essay on Janus and Epimetheus.
Congratulations to all of the contest winners, as well as to the finalists and to all of the students who took the time and effort to research and write about Saturn¹s moons for this contest.