Cassini Significant Events 05/21/08 - 05/27/08

May 29, 2008

(Source: Cassini Project)

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on Monday, May 26, from the Goldstone, California 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" page at:

Wednesday, May 21 (DOY 142)

Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #156 was performed today. This is the apoapsis maneuver setting up for the Titan 44 encounter on May 28. The reaction control subsystem (RCS) burn began at 8:29 PM PST. Telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed the burn duration was 155.13 seconds, giving a delta-V of 0.2 m/sec. All subsystems reported nominal performance after the maneuver.

The final approval meeting was held today for the S41 background sequence. This will be the final sequence of the prime mission. Sequence leads will begin uplinking the Instrument Expanded Block (IEB) files on Thursday, and the background sequence will go up on Monday, May 26.

Based on analysis performed by Science Planning, there is currently only a small deviation between the OTM-156 orbit determination solution and the reference trajectory for the Janus observation scheduled for later this week. The current pointing difference stands at 0.37 mrad. Because of this it has been decided to cancel the Saturn/Janus live update scheduled for May 25, 26.

Extended Mission sequence development continued today with teams delivering their inputs for the second of three ports for the S44 sequence. The files were merged and reports were sent out to the teams for review and resolution. AACS will perform end-to-end pointing and the first Reaction Wheel Assembly Bias Optimization Tool analysis on this product. The third and final port is scheduled for June 18.

Thursday, May 22 (DOY 143)

An encounter strategy meeting was held today to cover the period between May 28 and July 31, Titan flybys T44 and T45, and maneuvers 158-160.

In addition to the IEB files for S41, sequence leads also sent command files for Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) direction finding for periapsis science enhancement. The RPWS file has been registered on-board the spacecraft and will start executing on 146T16:15. The only remaining IEB - ISS S41 IEB Load to the SSR, part 2 - will be radiated tomorrow.

Science Planners have delivered the hand-off package to Uplink Operations for the S43 background sequence. The final sequence development process for this sequence will begin on Tuesday, May 27.

Friday, May 23 (DOY 144):

Thanks to a very accurate OTM-156 orbit determination solution and maneuver execution, OTM-157 has an estimated magnitude of 2 mm/sec, which is less than the minimum RCS maneuver magnitude, with a deviation from the targeted aim point of less than 400 meters. Science Planning reviewed the no-maneuver solution and has determined that there is no impact to science. Therefore, OTM-157, scheduled for Sunday, May 25, has been cancelled.

The Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) led a joint Optical Remote Sensing (ORS) instrument campaign to image the northern aurora of Saturn today. In addition, the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) gathered information on Saturn's atmospheric dynamics.

Saturday, May 24 (DOY 145):

Non-targeted flybys of Pallene, Atlas, and Janus occurred today.

Sunday, May 25 (DOY 145):

Following the gathering of more VIMS data on Saturn's atmospheric dynamics, the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) led a joint ORS observation of a Tethys solar eclipse. VIMS watched a star as it was occulted by the rings, and ISS looked at some satellites to improve orbit estimation accuracy. As the spacecraft moved though periapsis, ISS and UVIS led high priority observations of a Saturn solar occultation.

Congratulations to the Phoenix Flight Team today on their successful entry, descent, and landing operations!

Monday, May 26 (DOY 147):

Sequence leads successfully uplinked the S41 background sequence today.

As the spacecraft moved outbound from periapsis, ISS led a joint ORS observation of Janus by means of limb sounding in the mid-IR, CIRS performed a Saturn limb integration to obtain stratospheric thermal structure, VIMS performed more measurements of the global dynamics of Saturn, and ISS wrapped up the day with an observation of Enceladus.

Tuesday, May 27 (DOY 148):

The Cassini-Huygens Analysis and Results of the Mission (CHARM) teleconference for
May was titled The History of Saturn's Rings.

Coming Up:

"Naked Science 5: Saturn's Secrets" will air for the first time this Sunday, June 1, at 3:00 PM Pacific Time, on the National Geographic Channel. Many images from Cassini will be shown.