The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on July 19 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, July 13 (DOY 194)
A delivery meeting was held today in preparation for deployment of the new features and capabilities in the latest version of Acelog, the replacement software for the legacy Operations Log. Installation of Acelog V2.0 is scheduled for Monday, July 25.
Thursday, June 14 (DOY 195)
The S72 Engineering Activities Review was held today. At this review, Spacecraft Office personnel took a look at all spacecraft activities to be performed during the S72 sequence.
Friday, July 15 (DOY 196)
This week’s science observations began on approach to apoapsis with a 14.5 hour low phase, edge-on observation of the E ring by the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS), Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) and Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) to study whether particle sizes in the E ring have varied with the changing seasons. ISS then performed a 5 hour search for satellites in the Rhea L4 LaGrange region. The Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) then executed a 3 hour calibration activity using the star Spica, and the Magnetometer performed an 8 hour calibration with the spacecraft rolling about its X-axis. ISS, CIRS and VIMS performed two observations in the Titan monitoring campaign. ISS performed an observation of the transit of Tethys across Titan's south pole, and made astrometric observations of small moons including Epimetheus, Prometheus, Calypso and Polydeuces, and observed the transit of Dione across the southern hemisphere of Rhea. The Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) performed a 23.5 hour observation of retrograde dust particles. Finally, UVIS completed a 32 hour system scan of Saturn’s magnetosphere in order to image hydrogen and oxygen in the Saturn system.
Saturday, July 16 (DOY 197)
The Cassini Outreach team is preparing to announce the three essay contest topics for the Cassini Scientist for a Day essay contest on August 1, 2011. The website will be http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/scientistforaday/. Several national coordinators on six continents are helping once again to make the contest international. The contest deadline will be October 26, 2011.
Sunday, July 17 (DOY 198)
The Cassini Mission site now features a new interactive graphic designed to showcase the breadth and depth of released images. The collage highlights some of the more popular image categories of the mission, enticing casual visitors to delve more deeply. To explore, click here: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/.
Monday, July 18 (DOY 199)
An article called “A Major Variation on a Theme” was posted on the Cassini web site today. It describes how Saturn’s invisible radiation belts are like much of the rest of the planet’s system – unique. The Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft found gaps in the belts at distances from Saturn that match the orbits of some of Saturn’s moons, suggesting the moons were sweeping up the particles. If current explanations of radiation belt behavior are correct, there is a mystery: Saturn’s radiation belts should have disappeared long ago. For more information on this subject, link to: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/11205/a-major-variation-on-a-theme/.
A Delivery Coordination Meeting was held Wed., July 13, for the Cassini Information Management System (CIMS) Version 3.6.2 and Cassini Operations Reference Encyclopedia (CORE) due to an institutional Oracle upgrade impacting subject Cassini applications. The Oracle upgrade, in concert with the Cassini CIMS and CORE applications, was successfully installed in operations today.
Tuesday, July 19 (DOY 200)
The S69 VIMS instrument expanded block (IEB) reload part 1 sequence file was radiated to the spacecraft today over Goldstone’s DSS-15 station. The sequence will begin executing around 200/2203 SCET and data from this IEB reload should be seen on the ground starting at 200/2325.