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Cassini Significant Events 07/28/10 – 08/03/10

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on August 3 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, July 28 (DOY 209)

An Uplink Readiness Review took place today in preparation for the uplink of new Command & Data Subsystem flight software v10. Tomorrow, the command approval meeting will be held. The patch is planned to go up to the spacecraft in August.

Thursday, July 29 (DOY 210)

A feature story called "Blowing in the Wind: Cassini Helps with Dune Whodunit," describes how the answer to the mystery of dune patterns on Saturn's moon Titan did turn out to be blowing in the wind. It just wasn't from the direction many scientists expected. While circulation models show surface winds streaming generally east-to-west around Titan's equatorial belt, a new paper and related "perspectives" story find that strong, reverse winds that occur during a short period can do a more effective job of sculpting the dunes. For more information, link to:

Friday, July 30 (DOY 211)

The S61 sequence concluded and S62 began execution today at 2010-211T18:51:00. The sequence will run for 37 days and conclude on Sept. 6. During that time there will be one targeted encounter of Enceladus and eighteen non-targeted flybys ­ two each of Titan, Dione, and Epimetheus, and one each of Calypso, Atlas, Pandora, Daphnis, Janus, Pan, Tethys, Polydeuces, Telesto, Prometheus, G_ARC, and Aegaeon. Three OTMs are scheduled, numbered 259 through 261.

Monday, Aug. 2 (DOY 214)

This week science events included Cassini Plasma Spectrometer prime for low latitude apoapsis observations acquired to give the Magnetospheric and Plasma Science instruments an opportunity to obtain measurements of Saturn's outer magnetosphere and magnetosheath. These observations are performed once every four to six months to observe Saturn¹s magnetosphere over a solar cycle, from one solar minimum to the next, investigate magnetospheric periodicities, and how the Saturn Kilometric Radiation period is imposed on the magnetosphere. The Magnetometer conducted its periodic calibration roll. Imaging Science (ISS) led Titan cloud monitoring, and performed observations of the satellites Iapetus and Albiorix. ISS, the Composite Infrared Spectrometer, Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph, and Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer monitored Titan cloud formations.

Tuesday, Aug. 3 (DOY 215)

AACS Periodic Engineering Maintenance was completed today. This activity, performed approximately every 90 days, exercises the Engine Gimbal Actuators, the backup reaction wheel assembly - or RWA-3 - and scrubs the Backdoor Assisted Load Format Injection Loader memory. The Navigation team has determined that Orbit Trim Maneuver #259, the approach maneuver prior to the Enceladus encounter on Aug. 13, may be cancelled. This decision saves about 0.1 m/s in delta-V. A live update for pointing was already anticipated by Science Planning for Enceladus and will now go forward along with a possible update for the non-targeted Tethys encounter on Aug. 14 as well.