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Cassini Significant Events 02/09/11 – 02/15/11

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on Feb. 15 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, Feb. 9 (DOY 040)

An encounter strategy meeting was held today to cover the period between Feb. 18 and Apr. 19, Titan flybys T-74 and T-75, and maneuvers 278-280.

A kickoff meeting was held today for the S69 Sequence Implementation Process. Port 1 for the first set of input files from the teams occurs February 28.

The Magnetometer (MAG) instrument was marked sick today at 040T17:33 SCET, similar to past occurrences. Commands were uplinked to recover and reset the MAG instrument.

Thursday, Feb. 10 (DOY 041)

The Downlink Ground System team confirmed and tested the Distributed Object Manager (DOM) firewall holes this week, making progress toward the transition of DOM to the operational Network File System.

Friday, Feb. 11 (DOY 042)

A calibration of the prime inertial reference unit took place today. Preliminary results indicated that the subsystem is performing normally. Final results will be available in a few weeks.

The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) successfully loaded a second set of instrument commands for S66 from the spacecraft recorder into instrument memory. Since Approach Science began, 114,316 VIMS cubes have been returned.

Saturday, Feb. 12 (DOY 043)

In the last week, 84 Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) images were received and distributed. Since Approach Science began, 239,734 ISS images have been received.

Sunday, Feb. 12 (DOY 043)

This week’s science observations, during which the spacecraft was in the apoapsis part of the orbit, focused entirely on Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) observations. The MAPS instruments performed observations which provide an opportunity to acquire nearly complete and continuous measurements of Saturn's outer magnetosphere and magnetosheath; this segment of observations was begun at the end of last week. By executing this type of observation segment once every four to six months, the MAPS instruments are able to observe Saturn’s magnetosphere over a variety of temporal scales to investigate magnetospheric periodicities. Observations will ultimately be made over a solar cycle, from one solar minimum to the next. The data will also be used to probe how the Saturn kilometric radiation (SKR) period is imposed on the magnetosphere.

Monday, Feb. 14 (DOY 045)

Orbit Trim Maneuver #277, the Titan 74 approach maneuver scheduled for Feb. 15, was cancelled today. With the current trajectory passing within 1 km of the target, there were minimal consequences resulting from the cancellation.

A Cassini Project Science teleconference was held today, where latest thermal results from Mimas were discussed.

Tuesday, Feb. 15 (DOY 046)

A mission planning forum was held today with two topics on the agenda. The first topic was an update to the telecom performance predicts used to determine the data rates during downlinks. The new predicts use improved Earth atmospheric and antenna modeling. The second topic was an update to the hydrazine and delta-v budgets and review of propellant usage in S64-S65. A consumables status is provided on a regular basis so the project can maintain cognizance of propellant usage and end of mission margins.