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Cassini Significant Events for 02/07/07 - 02/13/07



Cassini Significant Events
for 02/07/07 - 02/13/07

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Tuesday, February 13, 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 .

Wednesday, February 7 (DOY 038):

Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #93 was performed today.  This is the apoapsis
maneuver setting up for the Titan 25 encounter on Feb. 22. The main engine
burn began at 1:45 AM PST.  Telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed
the burn duration was 1.52 seconds, giving a delta-V of 0.26 m/s. On January
26, OTM-91 was reported as the smallest reaction control subsystem maneuver
to date.  Well, not to be out done, OTM-93 is now the smallest main engine
maneuver to date. The previous record holder was OTM-25, with a burn of 2.1
seconds and a delta-V of 0.34 m/sec.  All subsystems reported nominal
performance after the maneuver.

Images of five small satellites, Prometheus, Atlas, Pandora, Dione, and
Janus, were taken today with the goal of improving knowledge of their
orbits.

The majority of today was spent alternating back and forth between
additional Saturn high latitude Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer
(VIMS) photopolarimetry and Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) auroral
observations.  This is part of the Hubble Space Telescope/Cassini
International Heliophysical Year campaign.

Both Hubble and Cassini have previously imaged Saturn's auroras,
demonstrating that they vary in latitudinal position and extent and that
they alter rapidly as conditions in the solar wind change due to activity on
the Sun. Repeated observations today will help to understand how the auroras
respond to the solar wind. Inferences can also be made about the upper
atmosphere of Saturn and its interaction with the magnetic field.

The Cassini Deputy Program Scientist gave an in-reach talk today to members
of the flight team.  Every quarter, Cassini gives a presentation on project
status to NASA personnel.  One part of that presentation includes the most
significant science results from the previous three months.  Over the last
year, the flight team has requested that this presentation also be given
internally to project members. 

A beautiful RADAR image of the liquid methane lakes on Titan is Astronomy
Picture of the Day today. 

A delivery coordination meeting was held today for the Cassini Information
Management System version 3.3.2.  This update supports Oracle 10G and
contains modifications to the Resource Checker process.

Thursday, February 8 (DOY 039):

An encounter strategy meeting was held today for the Titan 25 and Titan 26
flybys.  The meeting will cover the period from Feb. 22 through March 19,
and Orbit Trim Maneuvers 95-97.

The kickoff meeting for the Hyperion live update was held today.  The update
will execute over DOY 046-047.  Teams have been reporting the need for this
update so the Go/No-Go meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled.
It's a Go.

Friday, February 9 (DOY 040):

The Navigation team released an update of the prime mission reference
trajectory to the Project today.  The two main purposes for this update to
the trajectory are to raise the Titan-32 periapsis altitude from 950 km to
975 km, and to change the September Iapetus encounter B-plane angle from
156.7 to 176.4 deg to improving the viewing geometry over the equatorial
ridge.

A delivery coordination meeting was held today for the Spacecraft Operations
Office Inertial Vector Propagation tool (IVP) V12.1.  The IVP tool is a
ground software program for the Cassini attitude control and science teams,
providing precision vector propagation for desired scientific and
engineering targets. 

The first worldwide Saturn Observation Night was held Feb 10, 2007. Members
of the Saturn Observation Campaign around the world aimed telescopes at
Saturn, or gathered students in classrooms for Saturn art and science
activities. Newspaper articles, web blogs, reports, pictures and stories are
coming in to Cassini Outreach this week.  So far reports are in from 75
individuals in 13 states and 13 countries, with many more reports of past
events and plans for future events expected. Go to: 

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features/feature20070207.cfm 

for a NASA News Feature on the event. To find out where other Saturn viewing
events are occurring in the next months, check: 

http://soc.jpl.nasa.gov/experience/gallery-archive-stories.cfm

Sunday, February 11 (DOY 042):

An AACS friction test of reaction wheels number 1, 2, and 4 was executed on
board the spacecraft today.  This test is performed every three months.  The
wheels are spun up to 900 rpm in both directions and are timed as they run
down to zero.  Compared to the last test on Nov. 15, 2006, RWA-1 showed a
slight improvement in the clockwise direction and degradation in the
counter-clockwise direction.   RWA-2 was only slightly worse in the
clockwise direction and unchanged in the counter clockwise direction.  RWA-4
improved slightly in the clockwise direction and was unchanged in the
counter-clockwise direction.

Monday, February 12 (DOY 043):

Cassini Outreach chaired a panel at the 2007 Space Technology and
Applications International Forum (STAIF) conference this week, and
participated on a plenary panel for STAIF in Albuquerque, New Mexico along
with the NASA Associate Administrator for Education, the Director of Los
Alamos National Laboratory, and the Director of Sandia National
Laboratories.  The topic was "Inspiring the Next Generation."

Tuesday, February 13 (DOY 044):

A final approval meeting was held today for the S28 background sequence.
The sequence was approved and uplink has begun of the Instrument Expanded
Block files to support the sequence.  All uplinks will be complete by
Friday, Feb. 16, and the sequence begins execution early Saturday morning,
Feb. 17. 

Eclipse entry was the first of several upcoming observations of Iapetus.
This instance is unique because the satellite enters eclipse through the
shadow of the rings, but departs tomorrow from behind Saturn. The Composite
Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) was the prime instrument measuring heating and
cooling caused by the solar eclipse to provide information on surface
thermal inertia. VIMS provided supporting measurements of the bolometric
Bond albedo, i.e. the fraction of the total incident radiation energy that
is reflected, and the Imaging Science Subsystem provided supporting imagery.

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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