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Cassini Significant Events 03/24/10 – 03/30/10

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on March 30 from the Deep Space Network tracking complex at Madrid, Spain. 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, March 24 (DOY 083)

A member of the Cassini Outreach staff was an invited speaker at the 8th annual All-Manitoba First Nation Science Fair Mar. 24th and 25th. First Nations communities are found throughout Manitoba and are home to the aboriginal people of the province. Over 400 students, their families and teachers from 28 schools attended and received Cassini handouts.

In preparation for the solid state recorder on Cassini to be repartitioned for Extended Extended Mission operations, Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) test files have been generated and verified through Instrument Operations Multi-mission Image Processing Laboratory, Mission Sequence Software and Spacecraft Operations Office ground software tools.

Thursday, March 25 (DOY 084)

This week Radio Science performed Ka-TWTA maintenance and the Magnetometer performed calibration rolls. The Cassini Plasma Spectrometer obtained survey measurements, and the Magnetospheric and Plasma Science Instrument teams took measurements for the magnetospheric boundaries, solar wind, and auroral campaigns. Imaging Science (ISS), the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) and Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) performed another observation in the Titan monitoring campaign, and all the Optical Remote Sensing instruments participated in Titan cloud monitoring campaign observations. UVIS conducted mosaic scans of Saturn's magnetosphere and performed a stellar calibration. CIRS observed Saturn, measuring oxygen compounds of H2O, and CO2 in the stratosphere as a function of latitude. ISS performed observations in support of the Satellite Orbit Campaign, observed the transit of Rhea across Janus, Janus across Titan, and Rhea across Epimetheus, and turned to image the still nearly edge-on, post-equinox E-Ring.

Friday, March 26 (DOY 085)

Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM) #240 was performed today. This was the apoapsis maneuver setting up for the Titan T67 and Dione D2 encounters on April 5 and 7. The main engine burn began at 8:29 AM PDT. Telemetry immediately after the maneuver showed a burn duration of 17.53 seconds, giving a delta-V of 3.00 m/s. All subsystems reported nominal performance after the maneuver.

Saturday, March 27 (DOY 086)

Sequence leads began uplinking the Instrument Expanded Block files needed to support the S59 sequence. Eight files went up today. A second set of files will go up on Monday, and the background sequence will follow on Apr. 1.

Monday, March 29 (DOY 088)

A news release entitled "1980s Video Icon Glows on Saturn Moon" discusses the highest-resolution-yet temperature map and images of Saturn's icy moon Mimas obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The data reveal surprising patterns on the surface of the small moon, including unexpected hot regions that resemble 'Pac-Man' eating a dot, and striking bands of light and dark in crater walls. View the release at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/newsreleases/newsrelease20100329/.

Port 3 Spacecraft Activity Sequence Files were due today as part of the Science Operations Plan process for S61. The files will be merged and released for review tomorrow.

A Go/No Go meeting was held today for a Live Inertial Vector Propagator update to occur on Apr. 5 for the Titan T67 encounter. It's a "Go" so vectors will be modified for one ISS and three CIRS observations.

The S60 Simulation Coordination meeting was held today. After collecting inputs from the teams, it was determined that the only activity to be tested will be the Radio Science DOY 169-170 Saturn occultation Live Movable Block.

Tuesday, March 30 (DOY 089)

Port 2 Spacecraft Activity Sequence Files were due today as part of the Science Operations Plan process for S62. The files will be merged and released for review tomorrow.

The Cassini-Huygens Analysis and Results of the Mission (CHARM) teleconference for March was held today. The topic: "Titan: Ingredients for Life." A PDF of the presentation package may be obtained at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/video/products/MultimediaProductsCharm/. An audio recording of this presentation will be linked to the same location within a few days.