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Cassini Significant Events 01/05/11 – 01/11/11

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on Jan. 11 from the Deep Space Network tracking complex at Canberra, Australia. 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: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/presentposition/.

Wednesday, Jan. 5 (DOY 005)

Commands were uplinked to the spacecraft today over Madrid’s DSS-55 station for the CDA flight software reset/reload due to execute on DOY 010.

Thursday, Jan. 6 (DOY 006)

Five Instrument Expanded Block (IEB) files were uplinked to the spacecraft today in support of the S66 sequence. After reviewing the memory readouts, the uplink team has verified that the files have been properly loaded into the solid-state recorder.

Friday, Jan. 7 (DOY 007)

An encounter strategy meeting was held today to cover the period between Jan. 11 and Feb. 18, Rhea encounter R3 and Titan flyby T74, and maneuvers 275-277.

Saturday, Jan. 8 (DOY 008)

Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #274 was performed today. This was the approach maneuver setting up for the Rhea 3 encounter on Jan. 11. The Reaction Control Subsystem (RCS) burn began at 06:26 SCET. Telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed a burn duration of 27.875 seconds, giving a delta-V of 0.034 m/s. All subsystems reported nominal performance after the maneuver.

Sunday, Jan. 9 (DOY 009)

This week in science the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) completed a 30 hour interstellar dust observation. Imaging Science (ISS) performed an observation in its Satellite Orbit Determination campaign, along with a 14.5 hour observation of the irregular moon Tarvos, and a 15 hour high-phase edge-on observation of the E-ring. The Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) performed an 8.5 hour low latitude apoapsis observation and a 4 hour calibration. The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) took a regional map of Saturn to look for and characterize meteorological features and equatorial plumes, followed by scans performed by the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) across Saturn’s illuminated hemisphere to form UV spectral images. In a collaboration between VIMS and the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS), two stellar occultations by Saturn’s atmosphere were observed to gather data to determine the H/He ratio in the atmosphere. Finally, VIMS performed a compositional map of Saturn.

Monday, Jan. 10 (DOY 010)

Office moves continued with the last Cassini move taking place this week. All 60 moves will be complete by the end of this week in support of the transition to the new, descoped Solstice mission.

Non-targeted flybys of Pandora, Methone, and Titan occurred today.

Target Working Team and Orbiter Science Team integrated products for S69, covering orbits 150 through 153 in July 2011 through August 2011, were delivered today. The integrated products are in their final form and no re-integration is planned. The Sequence Implementation Process will kick off on February 9. At this time instrument teams are working on the pointing designs for this sequence.

Tuesday, Jan. 11 (DOY 011)

The main engine cover was closed on Sunday, Jan. 9, and was re-opened today for dust hazard avoidance. This was the 64th in-flight cycle of the cover.

Today Cassini encountered Rhea at an altitude of 70 kilometers and a speed of 8.0 km/sec. As part of the magnetosphere and plasma science (MAPS) instrument teams’ high priority Rhea campaign, the Cassini plasma spectrometer (CAPS) controlled the pointing for the MAPS teams to investigate the interaction between Rhea and Saturn's magnetosphere as Cassini made its third close approach to Rhea. In addition, MAPS scientists will be trying to further investigate the tenuous exosphere of Rhea. For more information link to: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/flybys/rhea20110111/.