News | June 11, 2014
Cassini Significant Events 06/04/2014 - 06/10/2014
Cassini is orbiting Saturn with a 31.9-day period in a plane inclined 44.3 degrees from the planet's equatorial plane. The most recent spacecraft tracking and telemetry data were obtained on June 10 using the 70-meter diameter Deep Space Network station at Canberra, Australia. Except for the science instrument issues described in previous reports (for more information search the Cassini website for "CAPS" and "USO"), the spacecraft continues to be in an excellent state of health with all of its subsystems operating normally.
Information on the present position of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on "Eyes on the Solar System".
Cassini continued conducting observations of Saturn's northern auroral region as part of the campaign that began on May 19. The only interruptions to this high-priority task during the week were half a dozen Deep Space Network (DSN) communications sessions, and three relatively short Titan monitoring observations.
Wednesday, June 4 (DOY 155)
The day started off with a DSN station in California carrying out nine hours of two-way digital communications and radiometric tracking with Cassini. During the pass, the flight team uplinked commands to turn off the no-longer-necessary Pressurant Control Assembly panel and line heaters. This action will make another nine watts of electrical power available to the engineering subsystems and science instruments.
At the end of the DSN pass, Cassini turned away to point the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) telescopes at Titan for a 1.5 hour monitoring observation from a distance of about three million kilometers. The Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) and the Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) took data while "riding along" with ISS. Next, the spacecraft turned the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph's (UVIS) telescope back to Saturn's northern auroral region for an observation lasting just over 42 hours while CIRS and VIMS rode along. These long observations repeated three more times during the rest of the week with start times on Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday, though with slightly varying durations.
Friday, June 6 (DOY 157)
ISS took control of spacecraft pointing to monitor Titan again for 1.5 hours, now at a distance of two million kilometers. CIRS and VIMS participated. This observation repeated on Sunday when Titan was about 400,000 kilometers closer.
Sunday, June 8 (DOY 159)
During the DSN pass over Canberra Australia today, the Cassini Radio Science team led an operations readiness test in preparation for the complicated experiments planned for the next Titan encounter, T-102 on June 18. One of the 34-meter diameter stations participated today; the exercise was repeated on Tuesday using the 70-meter station there.
Monday, June 9 (DOY 160)
An image featured today shows how Saturn's small oblong moon Prometheus interacts with the thin F Ring:
Gored of the Rings.