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Cassini Significant Events 08/21/2013 – 08/27/2013

Cassini is orbiting Saturn with a 23.9-day period in a plane inclined 53.4 degrees from the planet's equatorial plane. The most recent spacecraft tracking and telemetry data were obtained on Aug. 28 using the 70-meter diameter Deep Space Network station at Canberra, Australia. Except for some science instrument issues described in previous reports (for more information search the Cassini website for CAPS and USO), the spacecraft continues to be in an excellent state of health with all of its subsystems operating 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/.

The spacecraft spent this week coasting "up" towards next week's apoapsis on Saturn orbit #196. Back on Earth, engineers on the Cassini flight team presented technical papers at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Senior team members chaired a well-attended, invited session entitled "Flight Experience of Cassini Spacecraft Attitude Control at Saturn."

Wednesday, Aug. 21 (DOY 233)

The Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) completed a fifteen-hour movie of the F ring. The Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) then performed a nine-hour Saturn auroral observation using both fixed locations and rapid slews.

Images sent in by people around the world during the "Wave at Saturn" event last month have been assembled into a mosaic in the form of Earth, featured here: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/newsreleases/newsrelease20130821/.

Thursday, Aug. 22 (DOY 234)

ISS, the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) and the Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) performed an observation in the Titan monitoring campaign from a range of 2.6 million kilometers. ISS then made an observation in the Satellite Orbit Campaign, looking at small bodies close to Saturn. The Navigation team then used ISS to capture five images of Saturn's satellite Dione against the background stars for optical navigation purposes. Finally, after VIMS squeezed in a two-minute Saturn storm-watch observation, UVIS began a 32-hour observation of Saturn's aurora, with VIMS riding along.

Friday, Aug. 23 (DOY 235)

UVIS completed the auroral observation begun yesterday.

Saturday, Aug. 24 (DOY 236)

ISS led the creation of a 15-hour low-resolution movie of the F ring today, and then another one 16 hours long on Monday.

Today and again on Monday, Deep Space Network (DSN) stations in Canberra, Australia participated in an operations readiness test, preparing for the Radio Science Saturn atmosphere and ring occultation experiment coming up on Sept. 1.

The Earth mosaic featured on Wednesday made NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day today: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130824.html

Sunday, Aug. 25 (DOY 237)

UVIS and VIMS stared at Saturn to perform a 21-hour observation of the aurora. The observation was repeated for 20 hours on Tuesday.

Monday, Aug. 26 (DOY 238)

An image featured today shows a collar on Titan, believed to be seasonal, that was observed by Voyager 2 when it flew through the Saturn system in 1981, just over one Saturnian year ago:

Tuesday Aug. 27 (DOY 239)

DSN stations were in contact with Cassini on five occasions this week, capturing telemetry from the science observations, relaying commands from the flight team, making radiometric measurements for navigation, and capturing radio science data for calibration.