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Cassini Significant Events for 01/18/07 - 01/24/07



Cassini Significant Events
for 01/18/07 - 01/24/07

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday, January 25,
from the Goldstone tracking complexes. 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 .

Thursday, January 18 (DOY 018):

A tabletop walk though of the AACS Flight Computer Reset Recovery procedure
was held today. This is another in a series of reviews to familiarize the
spacecraft team with Fault Protection responses.

Today eight members of the Cassini Science Planning and Outreach Teams
toured the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex. They observed
operations, met with members of the Goldstone technical staff, and spent the
day learning how the facility operates.

Most of today's science activity focused on Saturn's rings. The Visible and
Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) made a mosaic on each ansa for latitude
and phase coverage with the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) and Composite
Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) riding along. CIRS made a radial scan of the
main rings at afternoon to obtain thermal measurements of the rings. At the
same time the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) made an ultraviolet
spectral mapping of the rings.  Additional activities included RADAR
obtaining radiometer data of northern latitudes on Titan.

The spectacular view of Saturn, In Saturn's Shadow, proved to be the most
popular in the Cassini Photo Contest II.  To view the results of the contest
link to:  

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/poll/index.cfm

Friday, January 19 (DOY 019):

On Friday, Outreach participated in a space science day at Palos Verdes
Intermediate School in Palos Verdes Estates, California. Three hundred fifty
eighth grade students attended the presentations, which included
demonstrations on spacecraft communications, Mars rovers, and Cassini
science highlights. The event was written up in the local Palos Verdes
newspaper.

Images of satellites Atlas and Pan were taken by ISS today. Additional
images of Mimas and Tethys were obtained for optical navigation.  Rings
studies included a CIRS radial scan of the main rings to measure
temperature, a UVIS ultraviolet spectral map, and a wide-angle camera mosaic
of the entire ring system in multiple colors providing ring system
photometry.

An article on the jet stream of Titan by the European Space Agency has been
reproduced on the Cassini web site.  For details on how a pair of rare
celestial alignments occurring in November 2003 provided on going science
results in 2007, link to: 

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features/feature20070124.cfm

Saturday, January 20 (DOY 020):

The Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) instruments are continuing
their magnetospheric survey this week.

On Saturday, an occultation of the close binary bright star Epsilon Lup by
the outer B ring was observed in the far ultraviolet by UVIS. The grazing
path of this occultation made a "u-turn" in the middle of the B ring.

Sunday, January 21 (DOY 021):

Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #90 was performed today.  This is the apoapsis
maneuver setting up for the Titan 24 encounter on Jan. 29. The main engine
burn began at 2:45 AM PST. Telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed
the burn duration was 14.7 seconds, giving a delta-V of 2.37 m/s. All
subsystems reported nominal performance after the maneuver.

Monday, January 22 (DOY 022):

Observations today included UVIS observing the occultation of the star Gamma
Ara by the rings. The high resolution radial profile of ring optical depth
derived from the fluctuation of starlight passing through the rings at
multiple azimuths and from multiple distances provides detailed information
on ring structure and dynamics, ring-moon interactions, and ring particle
sizes. The egress path cut through all rings on the north face in the planet
shadow.

ISS took a mini-movie of the unlit face of the rings to observe azimuthally
variable structure. At an elevation angle of 59 degrees, this is the highest
such observation.  Optical navigation images were taken of Tethys,
Enceladus, and Rhea.

Tuesday, January 23 (DOY 023):

Activities on board the spacecraft today included Ion and Neutral Mass
Spectrometer (INMS) instrument flight software normalization, and an annual
Stellar Reference Unit calibration.

At the Mission Planning (MP) Forum this week, MP gave a presentation on
activities leading up to the Project Science Group (PSG) meeting to be held
at JPL next week.  The presentation included the ten tours currently under
review by the science teams, team/Orbiter Science Team/Target Working Team
activities, and the system to use to rate each of the tours. It is expected
that the extended mission tour will be selected by the end of the week-long
PSG meeting.

Cassini Outreach provided telescopic views of Saturn to about 200 people
today at the Glendale, CA, public library.  The viewers also were able to
see Titan, and compare it to Earth's smaller but nearer moon, which was
visible through other nearby telescopes.

UVIS continued its Satellite/System Volatile Map, imaging the local
environment around Enceladus to characterize the origin of volatiles. At
Enceladus, any connection of volatile changes to plume eruptions is of
particular interest.

Wednesday, January 24 (DOY 024):

This week the Navigation team presented an overview of Optical Navigation as
part of ongoing OTM related training within the Spacecraft Operations
Office.

The MAPS outer magnetosphere survey was interrupted today to allow two
instruments to perform calibrations. At a quiescent spot in Saturn's
magnetic field, the spacecraft rolled to allow the Magnetometer to determine
sensor offsets, and the Radio and Plasma Wave Science instrument performed
periodic instrument maintenance for the Langmuir Probe.

Upcoming:

Cassini Outreach, Saturn Observation Campaign (SOC) members and the Sidewalk
Astronomers will be showing views of Saturn and the moon at these public
events:

Jan. 26, 6-9 p.m. Colorado Blvd in Old Town Pasadena, CA

Jan. 27, 5-9 p.m. Library Park, Myrtle and Lime Streets in Monrovia, CA.

Contact Cassini Outreach (jane.h.jones@xxxxxxxxxxxx) for more information.
You can also contact any SOC member in over 50 countries for local events:
http://soc.jpl.nasa.gov/members.cfm

During Cassini's next pass of Saturn's moon Titan on Jan. 29, its infrared
eyes will study the moon's murky atmosphere and peer through its thick,
smoggy veil, mapping surface features.  

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/events/titan20070129/index.cfm

The Saturn Tour Highlights have been updated with events to come throughout
2007.   To see what is on the Cassini horizon, link to: 

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/index.cfm

Wrap up:

Check out the Cassini web site at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov for the latest
press releases and images.

The Cassini-Huygens mission 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, manages the
Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington,
D.C.  JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.


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