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Cassini Significant Events 06/20/2012 – 06/26/2012

The most recent spacecraft tracking and telemetry data were collected on June 27 by the Deep Space Network's 70 meter Station 63 at Madrid, Spain. Aside from the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer, which is off, and the Ultrastable Oscillator (see the January 5, 2012 Significant Events), the Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health with all subsystems functioning normally. Information on the present position of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the "Present Position" page at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/presentposition/.

Senior JPL management and Division 33 (Communications, Tracking, and Radar) gave the Cassini Flight Team the go-ahead for powering on Deep Space Transponder B, the spacecraft's redundant radio receiver, on July 4 to troubleshoot the apparently anomalous Ultrastable Oscillator.

Negotiations to schedule Deep Space Network (DSN) antennas to support Cassini's next background sequence, S75, are proving to be difficult. Since the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer instrument (CAPS) is powered off, CAPS-earmarked data volume in the Solid State Recorders is being used to help absorb DSN station allocation cuts.

Wednesday, June 20 (DOY 172)

The Magnetometer performed an 8 hour calibration while rotating the spacecraft about its X-axis. An animation of this pitching maneuver may be seen here: http://1.usa.gov/lEJIc1

Orbit Trim Maneuver 325, the Titan 85 approach maneuver, was executed today using the main engine. The 58 second burn provided a delta-V of about 10 meters per second.

Thursday, June 21 (DOY 173)

The Cosmic Dust Analyzer performed a 15 hour interstellar dust observation.

Friday, June 22 (DOY 174)

The Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) and the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) began a 37 hour observation of the irregular moon Ymir. This is a tiny dark object in a retrograde orbit 23 million kilometers from Saturn.

Saturday, June 23 (DOY 175)

A live update to Cassini's Inertial Vector Propagator was uplinked to provide updated instrument pointing commands for next week's observations of Titan, Tethys, and Saturn.

Sunday, June 24 (DOY 176)

ISS observed the sunlit face of the rings for 19 hours at high phase in order to create a movie, searching for periodicities in the spokes. A discussion of ring "spokes" accompanies this image: /resources/14893

Monday, June 25 (DOY 177)

ISS performed another observation in the Satellite Orbit Campaign. ISS, the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS), and UVIS then observed the F ring for 15.5 hours to create a low resolution movie.

The Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer made three short Saturn Storm Watch observations while other instruments had control of spacecraft pointing.

A feature titled "Cassini Shows Why Jet Streams Cross-cut Saturn" was published today. It may be seen here: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/cassinifeatures/feature20120625/

Tuesday, June 26 (DOY 178)

ISS made a 14.8 hour observation of Titan from a distance of 740,000 kilometers as part of a long range monitoring campaign.