At the beginning of this week, an encounter strategy meeting was held for encounters Titan a, and Titan b. This included Orbit Trim Maneuvers (OTM) 2, 3, 4 (Ta-3), 5, 6, and 7. Immediately following, the OTM-2 maneuver and command approval meetings were held. On August 23, OTM-2, the periapsis raise maneuver, was successfully completed. The purpose of this maneuver was to raise Cassini's next closest approach distance to Saturn on October 28 by nearly 300,000 kilometers. The maneuver was necessary to keep the spacecraft from passing through the rings and to put Cassini on target for its first close encounter with Saturn's moon Titan on October 26. A "quick look" of telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed a burn duration of 51 minutes, 8 seconds, giving a delta-V of 392.9 m/s. The maneuver was the third longest engine burn for the Cassini spacecraft and the last planned pressurized burn in the four-year tour. The Saturn obit insertion burn in July was 97 minutes long, and the deep space maneuver in December 1998 was 88 minutes long.
Cassini caught a hint of Rhea's heavily cratered surface as it sped rapidly away from the moon on its first orbit of Saturn. There is a noticeable brightening near the left limb of the icy moon. Cassini will have its first flyby of Rhea in November 2005. A new, special procedure for obtaining range points for navigation after burn completion was used during this maneuver. The DSN transmitter was left ON while the spacecraft was turned off Earth-point, and ranging disabled. After the spacecraft came back to Earth-point, a Magellan acquisition or MAQ was performed. This was done in order to obtain range points in the DSN pass after the maneuver. The technique worked successfully.
This Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera view of Saturn's southern polar region features a bright white spot, or storm, surrounded by faint, darker swirls of clouds. Latch valve 10 was left open for 33 minutes after the burn completed in order to further pressurize the oxidizer and fuel tanks for future maneuvers. The propulsion team indicated the burn was fully pressurized with the regulator performing normally. Tank pressures, latch valve performance, etc, were normal. For more details on this maneuver refer to the Cassini Web site, News Release 2004-208 at http://jpl.convio.net/site/R?i=PdgKRrSbsrJO-3BCLCXxIg..k=true.
Science activities this week included optical remote sensing (ORS) scans of Saturn's south pole as well as Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph mosaics of Saturn's magnetosphere. Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) performed mosaics and movies of the rings and Saturn's south pole. Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) imaged the magnetosphere and observed the solar winds and pickup ions while the ORS instruments simultaneously observed Saturn's aurora. Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) continued its campaign to study the influence of the solar wind on Saturn's aurora.
The dark material that coats one hemisphere of Saturn's moon Iapetus is very dark, as these two processed views of the same image demonstrate. A wrap up meeting was held for the Science Operations Plan (SOP) Implementation of tour sequences S33 and S34. The products have been archived and will be available for use in April of 2007 when the S33 Aftermarket process begins. A kick-off meeting was held for SOP Implementation of S37/S38. Preliminary port #1 is scheduled for September 10. The official port for SOP Update of S06 occurred this week. The products have been merged and delivered to ACS for end-to-end pointing analysis.
The S04 Preliminary Sequence Integration and Validation-2 (PSIV) merged sequence products were published for teams to review and for ACS to use for Inertial Vector Propagator (IVP) & Kinematic Prediction Tool (KPT) inputs as part of the Science and Sequence Update Process (SSUP). In addition, instrument teams submitted their Instrument Expanded Block Spacecraft Activity Sequence Files. For S05 development, PSIV1 Cycle 1 merged files were placed in the Program file repository for team review, and a Sub-Sequence Generation sequence change request approval meeting was held.
In the last week, 578 ISS images and 130 Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) cubes were acquired and distributed. So far since Approach Science began, 18004 ISS images and 4914 VIMS cubes have been returned.
A delivery review of Multi Mission Image Processing Laboratory software version D32 was conducted this week. No concerns were brought up and the delivery was accepted by all Projects. Instrument Operations personnel will perform certification testing prior to releasing the software for operational use by Cassini in early September.
The final scheduled release of the Cassini Information Management System
(CIMS) 3.2 has been installed for operations. The CIMS developers wish the flight team a successful mission!
This week Cassini Outreach and Saturn Observation Campaign members supported the Pasadena Public Library's "Night Under The Stars" event. Sixty kids aged 5- 12 and their parents enjoyed telescopic views after dining on stars, moons and crater dip punch. During the evening the traveling "NASA @ your library" exhibit was displayed featuring one exhibit-stand with six flat-screen computers, and a plasma screen theatre showing NASA programming, in addition to mission models and more. The exhibit opened August 13, runs through September 19, and is open during all library hours.
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, DC. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. For the latest images and more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini.
DEEP IMPACT UPDATE
From Deep News
24 August 2004
Launch: December 30, 2004
Impact Encounter: July 4, 2005
With less than half a year to launch, the Deep Impact mission continues testing of both the spacecraft hardware and software as they prepare for the transfer to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It's been a busy summer for the entire team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp and the University of Maryland where the Principal Investigator and members of his international science team held meetings. Read more about this remarkable mission to put a deep crater in a comet and find its composition and clues to the beginning of the solar system at http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov or http://deepimpact.umd.edu.
Up close and personal—meet our summer interns The mission has been making a Deep Impact on the future of engineering and science as we hosted four summer interns—one at the University of Maryland and three at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Each student has been assigned to work some facet of the mission and as we close the summer, they share with us their excitement about space science and the Deep Impact mission. Meet Jessica, Cindy, Nick, and Julia:
Educators: new and improved activities in math and science Did you have a restful summer? We want to send you back to school with some new and some improved activities tied to national math and science standards. An update of our Designing Craters activity was done by McREL this summer giving it a new look and adding more references. It is still the inquiry-based activity that Gretchen Walker produced. And as if that weren't enough, our team at McREL also matched our Mission Challenges to national math standards, putting them in student and teacher's guide formats. Now, your students can use math to solve real challenges that our mission team encountered. They'll have so much fun, they won't know they're learning!
Mission Challenges: http://deepimpact.umd.edu/disczone/challenge.html
Where is Tempel 1? Have you checked it lately? If you haven't checked to see where Comet Tempel 1 is lately, you may want to take a look and see how much closer it is to its impact destination in July 2005 (http://deepimpact.astro.umd.edu/amateur/where_is.shtml). Remember, our amateur astronomers will be looking up into the sky to see this comet again in late 2004 and early 2005.
A model for excellence! How was the Deep Impact model born? Deep Impact has three paper models you can download and build: the impactor only, the basic model and the detailed model with 3-D instruments. How did these models come to be? It started with a paper model made by Bill Blume at Jet Propulsion Laboratory to demonstrate the spacecraft's movements in space to the rest of the team. But where it went from there is quite a story. Meet Denise Cook-Clampert and David Lewis from Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., and see how our current models were born (http://deepimpact.umd.edu/disczone/excellence.html).
Did you see our past Deep News issues? Visit http://deepimpact.umd.edu/newsletter/archive.html to catch up on exciting past news from the Deep Impact mission. The Deep Impact mission is a partnership among the University of Maryland (UMD), the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp (BATC). Deep Impact is a NASA Discovery mission, eighth in a series of low-cost, highly focused space science investigations. See http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov or our mirror site at http://deepimpact.umd.edu.
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