Cassini Significant Event Report

For Week Ending 02/06/04


The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Goldstone tracking station on Monday, February 2. 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 .


C42 continued this week with Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) and Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) solar wind observations, uplink of commands for the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) for a flight software checkout mini-sequence and to send Instrument Expanded Blocks directly to the instrument, setting of an internal raw data parameter for the Cosmic Dust Analyzer, RPWS high frequency receiver calibrations, and clearing of the ACS high water marks.


A C44 Sequence Change Request (SCR) meeting for the subsequence generation sub phase was held this week. Three SCRs were approved. These include adding real-time command windows to accommodate flight software normalization for CDA and VIMS, and changing the Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer checkout activities from a background sequence activity to a separate mini sequence. The Navigation team has determined that the current DSN allocation for C44 is adequate for navigation accuracy for Saturn approach. No additional tracking is required.


Preliminary and official port #2 for Science Operations Plan (SOP) Implementation for tour sequences S21 and S22 occurred this week. Preliminary port #1 for SOP Implementation for S23 and S24 also occurred this week. The Spacecraft Activity Sequence Files were merged and the reports sent out to the teams for review.


The SOP Update process for S01 kicked off on Friday, January 30.


The Decision meeting for tour sequence S02 was held as part of the Aftermarket process. At the meeting it was determined that all proposed changes could be accommodated within the allocated work units with enough margin for future changes. All requested changes were approved for further integration by the Magnetospheric Target Working Team.


This week saw the conclusion of a Project Science Group (PSG) meeting at the California Institute of Technology and JPL in Pasadena, California. Discussions focused on the upcoming Phoebe flyby on June 11, 2004, and Saturn orbit insertion on June 30 (PDT) (July 1, GMT), as well as public affairs plans to support these key activities. Spacecraft and project status were also presented. PSG members roundly applauded a major, key milestone: the completion of science integration for the 4-year tour. Other highlights included formation of the Titan Science Group. This group will be responsible for Titan orbiter science planning and updates during the tour. Also discussed were dates for upcoming PSG meetings and a revision of the PSG meeting format in order to include more time for science reports.


All teams and offices supported the Cassini / NASA Quarterly review held at JPL.


The Instrument Operations Team Distributed Operations Coordinator compiled and released a test report from last week's DTF 21 Probe Relay data flow test. The test was to exercise the ability of the Huygens operations center in Darmstadt, Germany to receive 66Kbps real-time broadcast data as well as NERT TDS queries by Virtual Channel ID. The preliminary test report will be reviewed at next week's Probe Relay meeting.


An announcement was made through the Smithsonian Institution's Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams regarding an update to the rotation period of Phoebe, one of the Saturnian satellites to be observed by Cassini. Refer to Circular No. 8279 at http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/cbat.html or go directly to http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iauc/08200/08279.html


An article was released through Space.com regarding plans for increased exploration of Titan. For more information go to http://space.com/scienceastronomy/titan_probes_040203.html



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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