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Cassini Significant Events for 04/22/04 - 04/28/04



Cassini Significant Events
for 04/22/04 - 04/28/04

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Goldstone
tracking station on Wednesday, April 28. 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 .

This week witnessed the 6-year anniversary of Cassini's Venus 1 flyby on
April 26, 1998.  The flyby occurred just over 6 months after launch in
October of 1997.

The primary on-board activity this week was the loading of ACS A8.6.7 flight
software from the Solid State Recorder to ACS memory beginning on 26 April
and completing on 28 April. ACS loaded properly and all tests were normal.
Additional activities included a Reaction Control Subsystem functionality
checkout, Star ID suspend checkout, and Reaction Wheel Assembly bias.  All
activities executed successfully.  Uplinks included mini-sequences to
perform Imaging Science Subsystem stray light mapping and Composite Infrared
Spectrometer (CIRS) scattered sunlight observations, and Cassini Plasma
Spectrometer Electron Spectrometer testing.

Teams delivered Instrument Expanded Block load files, and Preliminary
Sequence Integration and Validation 2 (PSIV) merge sequence products
including the background sequence and Phoebe live moveable block files were
released in support of sequence development for S01.

A Subsequence Generation (SSG) Sequence Change Request (SCR) approval
meeting was held as part of the development of S02. SCRs to change optical
navigation pointing, adding a downlink roll on DOY 194, and shifting the
time of three CIRS deep space calibrations were approved.  These changes
will be implemented in the PSIV1 background sequence products.  The S02
PSIV1 initial merged background sequence files were released for review, and
SSG detailed subsequences delivered by all participating teams.

The 34th meeting of the Cassini Project Science Group was held this week at
the European Space Research & Technology Centre in Noordwijk, the
Netherlands.

In the last week, 611 Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) images and 10 Visual
and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) cubes were returned and
distributed, bringing the total of images acquired since the start of
Approach Science up to 4432, and the number of cubes up to 741.

Mission Assurance convened a Risk Team Meeting this week to re-assess the
remaining risks identified for Cruise, as well as those for Saturn Tour
Operations.  Three Cruise phase risks were annotated for retirement after
Saturn Orbit Insertion.  Updates to several Tour related risks were also
discussed and actions are pending.

The Cassini Outreach Literacy Team announced the release of the grades 1-2
lessons. Lessons are now available on the Cassini website at:
<http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/edu-k4-12a.cfm>

Outreach conducted a 1/2-day workshop for the education and guest services
staff at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California. The
workshop included a mission update, demonstration of education materials,
and a discussion of the Cassini spacecraft using the full-scale model on
display at the museum.

The Cassini Imaging Team has released a montage of Saturn images
illustrating the variable appearance of the planet in four different regions
of the spectrum from ultraviolet to near infrared. The pictures show the
effects of absorption and scattering of light at different wavelengths by
both atmospheric gas and clouds of differing heights and thicknesses. They
also show absorption of light by colored particles mixed with white ammonia
clouds in the planet's atmosphere. Contrast has been enhanced to aid
visibility of the atmosphere.  For more information link to:

<http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/cgibin/gs2.cgi?path=../multimedia/images/saturn/
images/PIA05388.jpg&type=image>

A TV series called `The Planets' will air on May 4, 2004, and run for 8
consecutive weeks.  It was initially produced by the BBC and aired on A&E
some years ago.  It has been updated, rewritten and reproduced, and will now
run on the Discovery Science channel.

Clear as black and white, Saturn's moon Iapetus is two-faced. One half is
dark as coal and the other is as bright as fresh linens. Astronomers have
puzzled over the stark difference since late in the 17th century. New radar
observations hint at what's going on, but the mystery is far from solved.
For more information link to:

<http://space.com/scienceastronomy/mystery_monday_040426.html>

Cassini is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the
Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Cassini
mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.

Cassini Outreach
Cassini Mission to Saturn and Titan
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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