Cassini Significant Events 11/30/06 - 12/06/06

December 8, 2006

(Source: Cassini Project)


The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on Wednesday, December 6, from the Goldstone tracking complex. 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" web page at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/present-position.cfm .

Wednesday, November 30 (DOY 333):

In support of the NASA Science Mission Directorate booth at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, CA next week, Cassini Outreach provided handout materials and a set of recent Cassini images for distribution. In addition, several scientists will give short talks for the public on recent Cassini findings at this event.

Outreach has provided a number of statistics for FY2006:
- Saturn Observation Campaign members conducted 601 events reaching 71,845 participants with 354 volunteers in 45 states/48 countries
- Cassini's Formal Education module "Reading, Writing & Rings" reached over 1, 400 educators.
- Cassini outreach sent out over 161,000 pieces of materials to schools, speaker groups and the public.
- The website for the Cassini-Huygens Analysis and Results of the Mission (CHARM) teleconference had over 10,000 downloads in October 2006.

In FY2007, outreach is developing a web-based Titan interactive webpage in partnership with PlanetQuest outreach. Other moons of Saturn will be highlighted in future versions, and the 2006 Cassini photo contest will debut late December for public voting.

Thursday, November 30 (DOY 334):

The Spacecraft Operations Office held an Engineering Activities Review for events to occur during S31.

As a normal safety precaution, commands were sent to the spacecraft today to set the value of the command loss timer (CLT) to 5 days. The nominal value is 85 hours, or about 3.5 days. The reason for the change is that Cassini currently has no DSN tracks scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. In the event that the track on Monday was lost, the sequence leads would be unable to send the CLT reset command, and when the spacecraft did not hear from the ground it would activate system fault protection.

Friday, December 1 (DOY 335):

The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer took data for an 11-hour thermal map of Saturn.

Commands were sent to the spacecraft to patch the Solid State Power Switch 24 error monitor to zero and then perform a memory readout. This is part of the cleanup activity from when the switch tripped last week. A Live Inertial Vector Propagator update for Telesto and Titan non-targeted flybys was uplinked, along with a mini-sequence that will run concurrently with the background sequence until January 5. This sponge bit mini-sequence allocates our extra bits due to DSN margin. The allocation to the instruments for these bits could not be made at the time S26 was developed due to the absence of a final DSN station allocation file.

Saturday, December 2 (DOY 336):

A non-targeted flyby of Titan occurred today at an altitude of 945,000 km. The Optical Remote Sensing Instruments observed the F ring during a stellar occultation

Sunday, December 3 (DOY 337):

A non-targeted flyby of Telesto occurred today at an altitude of 101,770 km.

Monday, December 4 (DOY 338):

Science activities today included the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) observing the shadow boundary off the main rings looking for faint ring material, and then performing an observation designed to capture the formation of ring spokes.

Tuesday, December 5 (DOY 339):

Preliminary port one products were due today as part of the Science Operations Plan Update process for S29. The official port occurs on December 13, and the products are handed off for the final sequence development process on January 16.

The project has made the decision to cancel Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #82, the Titan 21 approach maneuver planned for December 9. The final delta-V estimate for this maneuver was under 5 mm/seconds, well below the minimum reaction control subsystem maneuver capability. OTM-83 currently has a mean delta-V value of about 1 m/s, so cancellation of OTM-83 is unlikely.