Cassini Significant Event Report

For Week Ending 01/09/04


The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Goldstone tracking station on Wednesday, January 7. 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 .


December 30 marked the third anniversary of Cassini's Jupiter fly-by and gravity assist. The spacecraft will reach Saturn on July 1 of this year.


On-board activities this week included uplink of real-time commands to support the completion of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) flight software load to the SSR, Radio and Plasma Wave Science periodic instrument maintenance, uplink and execution of a CAPS and Composite Infrared Spectrometer telemetry mode checkout mini-sequence, Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) decontamination and uplink and execution of a CDA articulation correction program, RADAR periodic instrument maintenance and a remote engineering unit data re-route, Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument Ion and Neutral Camera parameter update uplink, CAPS solar wind and plasma calibration and observation, Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) stray light observations, VIMS and Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) Saturn observations, and a UVIS Saturn magnetospheric mosaic. Spacecraft events included a number of reaction wheel activities including the uplink and execution of a reaction wheel assembly bias activity, and a friction calibration.


Over the holidays 36 narrow angle camera images and 36 wide-angle camera images were taken of Saturn. All the downlinked data was processed and delivered to the distributed operations site by Multi Mission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) automated processes.


The C42 final sequence approval meeting was held this week. This sequence begins execution on January 9. Instrument expanded block loads were uplinked in support of this sequence for RPWS, VIMS, Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS), optical navigation (OPNAV), and CAPS.


A simulation coordination meeting was held as part of the development process for approach science sequence C43. The main topic was the testing necessary for Probe Relay activities in this sequence.


Instrument Operations reported that the first Approach Science predicts for ISS/VIMS/OPNAV were loaded into the MIPL database in preparation for Approach Science downlink activities in C42. This initial step primes the automated Cassini Downlink and Reconciliation Subsystem to expect C42 data.


RPWS and MAG teams have submitted planetary data system archive volumes for formal peer review. The peer reviews will begin in January and be complete by March.


The Spacecraft Operations office delivered Cassini Operations Reference Encyclopedia version 4.1 over the holiday period. This software is essentially version 4.0 with restricted commands removed for most users.


A DVD version of the Cassini planetarium show, "Ring World" is now available from the Cassini Outreach Office. Copies are available for education and outreach purposes.


Cassini is one of four featured missions in a new Carl's Jr. and Hardee's Cool Kids Combos meal package. The packages include fun NASA facts and collectible space-theme toys that share NASA's devotion to exploration and discovery. The promotion begins today and runs through Feb. 24 at participating Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants. The Cool Kids Combos meals packaging and fun fact cards are designed to encourage children to log on to NASA For Kids to learn more about NASA missions. For information about NASA For Kids on the Internet, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/forkids. For information about NASA education programs on the Internet, visit: http://education.nasa.gov.



Additional information about Cassini-Huygens is online at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.


Cassini will begin orbiting Saturn on July 1, 2004, and release its piggybacked Huygens probe about six months later for descent through the thick atmosphere of the moon Titan. Cassini-Huygens is a cooperative mission of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.


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