Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cassini > Enceladus Flyby 12.03.08 > UPDATE

Although images are already arriving from yesterday’s Enceladus flyby, spacEurope just received the information that, unfortunately, not everything went as expected...

According to Sascha Kempf there are bad news from the CDA instrument.
The detector did not transmit the data recorded during the flyby to the spacecraft data recorder.
Resuming, the measurement failed due to a still unknown technical failure.
Right now the team is looking into this issue. However, the instrument is in good health and functional.

Although there will occur other Enceladus flybys this year this was only one of two useful for this kind of measurements (pointing constraints etc.).
One gone, only one flyby left...

Developed information: According to NASA's news release Cassini's Cosmic Dust Analyzer instrument suffered an unexplained software hiccup which prevented it from collecting any data during closest approach, although the instrument did get data before and after the approach. During the flyby, the instrument was switching between two versions of software programs. The new version was designed to increase the ability to count particle hits by several hundred hits per second. The other four fields and particles instruments on the spacecraft, in addition to the ion and neutral mass spectrometer, did capture all of their data, which will complement the overall composition studies and elucidate the unique plume environment of Enceladus.

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