Cassini Significant Events 10/27/05 - 11/01/05

November 3, 2005

(Source: Cassini Project)


October 27 (DOY 300) - November 2 (DOY 306)

Thursday, October 27 (DOY 300):

System Engineering hosted a meeting to develop the process for identification and notification for events that justify a Project request for elevated support by the Deep Space Network. Members of Mission Planning and Uplink Operations were identified as the responsible teams to track events as a sequence goes through the various development processes.

The Cassini Imaging Team is delighted to announce that a paper describing the dynamics underlying the sculpting effects of the moon Prometheus on Saturn's narrow F ring will be published in the journal Nature on October 27, 2005.


From October 27 through 29, members of the Cassini Outreach Team presented 'Reading, Writing, and Rings' at the annual California Science Teachers' Association meeting in Palm Springs, California. Three workshops were held during the conference with a total of 175 educators attending.

Friday, October 28 (DOY 301):

A kickoff meeting was held today for the DOY 307-316 Live Inertial Vector Propagator (IVP) Update process. The orbit determination (OD) solution for the update is scheduled for release at 1800 PST, Sunday, October 30. Due to the tight turnaround between OD release and uplink of the IVP update, Science Planning and the Instrument teams need to perform their analysis Sunday night in order to provide their recommendation Monday morning at the Go/No-Go Meeting.

The Titan 8 targeted flyby occurred today. Closest approach was 1,353 kilometers above the surface. The RADAR instrument performed synthetic aperture radar imaging of the dark terrain west of Xanadu, including long awaited observations of the Huygens landing site. In addition, the Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer obtained data regarding atmospheric and ionospheric composition and thermal structure, the Radio and Plasma Wave Science subsystem searched for lightning and other radio emissions, performed a characterization of the plasma wave spectrum, and searched for evidence of pickup ions in the vicinity of Titan, CIRS obtained data regarding the vertical temperature profile in Titan's stratosphere, tropopause, and on the surface, and the Imaging Science Subsystem monitored Titan for surface and atmospheric changes, including cloud motion.

During the flyby the Magnetospheric and Plasma Science teams continued observations of Titan's interactions with Saturn's magnetosphere - including the period within one hour of closest approach. All data from this flyby have been returned to the ground and are now being analyzed by the instrument teams.

Saturday, October 29 (DOY 302):

Non Targeted Flybys of Methone And Calypso occurred today.

Over 200 members of the public showed up at Library Park, Myrtle and Lime Streets, Monrovia, CA late on a Saturday night to view Mars at its closest approach to Earth on October 29th. Members of Cassini outreach, the Saturn Observation Campaign and the JPL Astronomy Club set up five telescopes for the public to use. Wows lasted until well after midnight.

Monday, October 31 (DOY 304):

The S20 Aftermarket assessment meeting was held today.

Orbit trim maneuver #41 (OTM-41) was successfully completed today. This T8 +3 day maneuver had two purposes: to clean up after the Titan-8 flyby on October 28, and to set up targeting for the 500 km flyby of Rhea on November 26. The main engine burn began at 7:14 am PDT. Telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed the burn duration was 77.6 seconds, giving a delta-V of approximately 12.4 m/s. The "burn settling time" was increased from 2 minutes to 38 minutes for this maneuver as part of an AACS investigation into post-maneuver Reaction Wheel Assembly torque roughness. As a result, the "off-Earth time" was 55 min. All subsystems reported nominal performance after the OTM.


The planned S15 DOY 307-316 Live IVP Update was cancelled today on the recommendation of Science Planning (SP) and the Instrument Teams. The update was determined not to be necessary to obtain the desired science.

Tuesday, November 1 (DOY 305):

Cassini Outreach participated in an educator workshop at Vannoy Elementary School in Castro Valley, CA


The S16 DOY 316 Live IVP update process kickoff meeting was held today. The purpose was to update the Iapetus pointing vector needed for DOY 316-324. This was to be a continuation of the S15 DOY 307-316 Live IVP Update that was cancelled yesterday. Since the pointing is similar in S16 it is also not too surprising that the team is recommending cancellation for this update as well. Not all teams have had a chance to review the materials so status of this update will be announced in a day or so. UPDATE: SP, CIRS, RADAR, ISS and the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) teams have reported that the update is not needed so it has been cancelled. This update was only to go through DOY 324. There is another possible update scheduled for later in S16 for Rhea but so far that one looks unnecessary as well.

The final sequence development process for S18 kicked off today. The sequence leads have distributed the stripped subsequence files to SP, Spacecraft Operations Office, and the instrument teams. The merged activity plan sequence products have also been generated and posted for review.

Wrap up:

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Tuesday, November 1, from the Goldstone tracking complex. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and all subsystems are operating normally. Check out the Cassini web site at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov for the latest press releases and images.