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Voyager 2 Completes Switch to Backup Thruster Set

 

Written by Rosemary Sullivant
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Voyager 2 has successfully switched to the backup set of thrusters that controls the roll of the spacecraft. Deep Space Network personnel sent commands to the spacecraft to make the change on November 4th and received confirmation today that the switch has been made. 

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are each equipped with six sets, or pairs, of thrusters to control the pitch, yaw and roll motions of the spacecraft. These include three pairs of primary thrusters and three backup, or redundant, pairs. Both spacecraft are now using all three sets of their backup thrusters.

Artist's concept of NASA's Voyager spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist's concept of NASA's Voyager spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Cassini Flyby Focuses on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

 

Written by Rosemary Sullivant
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Saturn’s moon Enceladus shows its icy face and famous plumes in raw, unprocessed images captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft during its successful flyby on November 6th, 2011.

During this Enceladus encounter, the 16th of Cassini’s mission, the spacecraft passed the moon at distance of about 300 miles (500 kilometers) at 10:11pm PDT on November 5th (04:49 UTC on November 6th).

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image of Enceladus on November 6th, 2011 and received on Earth November 7th, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Enceladus at approximately 144,790 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image of Enceladus on November 6th, 2011 and received on Earth November 7th, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Enceladus at approximately 144,790 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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NASA’s Cassini Makes a New Pass at Enceladus

 

Written by Rosemary Sullivant
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will acquire the first detailed radar images of Saturn’s moon Enceladus during a flyby on Sunday, November 6th. These will be the first high-resolution radar observations made of an icy moon other than Titan.

The results will provide new information about the surface of Enceladus and enable researchers to compare its geological features as seen by radar with those of Titan.

The primary goal of this flyby is to obtain the first detailed radar observation of Enceladus. This will be the first close radar pass of an icy moon besides Titan; the results will enable a comparison of the radar properties of a moon with a known composition (Enceladus) with that of Titan.

The primary goal of this flyby is to obtain the first detailed radar observation of Enceladus. This will be the first close radar pass of an icy moon besides Titan; the results will enable a comparison of the radar properties of a moon with a known composition (Enceladus) with that of Titan.

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Latest Cassini Images of Enceladus on View

 

Written by Rosemary Sullivant
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Raw, unprocessed images from the successful October 19th flyby of Saturn’s moon Enceladus by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft provide new views of the moon and the icy jets that burst from its southern polar region.

This flyby gave Cassini its first opportunity to observe Enceladus’ plumes with two stars shining behind them, a dual stellar occultation.

This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus and its jets was taken on October 19th, 2011. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus and its jets was taken on October 19th, 2011. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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Orion’s Belt Lights Up Cassini’s View of Enceladus

 

Written by Rosemary Sullivant
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini mission will take advantage of the position of two of the three stars in Orion’s belt when the spacecraft flies by Saturn’s moon Enceladus on Wednesday, October 19th.

As the hot, bright stars pass behind the moon’s icy jets, Cassini’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph will acquire a two-dimensional view of these dramatic plumes of water vapor and icy material erupting from the moon’s southern polar region. This flyby is the mission’s first-ever opportunity to probe the jets with two stars simultaneously, a dual stellar occultation.

From Cassini’s viewpoint, the closest of Orion’s stars will appear about 9 miles (15 kilometers) above the moon’s limb, or outer edge. The second star will appear higher, about 19 miles (30 kilometers) from the limb. In the foreground will be Enceladus’ icy plumes, which extend hundreds of miles into space.

Dramatic plumes, both large and small, spray water ice out from many locations along the famed "tiger stripes" near the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus. (Credit: NASA/JPL/SSI)

Dramatic plumes, both large and small, spray water ice out from many locations along the famed "tiger stripes" near the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus. (Credit: NASA/JPL/SSI)

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Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Spreads Its Influence

 

Written by Rosemary Sullivant
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Chalk up one more feat for Saturn’s intriguing moon Enceladus. The small, dynamic moon spews out dramatic plumes of water vapor and ice — first seen by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft in 2005. It possesses simple organic particles and may house liquid water beneath its surface. Its geyser-like jets create a gigantic halo of ice, dust and gas around Enceladus that helps feed Saturn’s E ring.

Now, thanks again to those icy jets, Enceladus is the only moon in our solar system known to influence substantially the chemical composition of its parent planet.

Water vapor and ice erupt from Saturn's moon Enceladus, the source of a newly discovered donut-shaped cloud around Saturn.

Water vapor and ice erupt from Saturn's moon Enceladus, the source of a newly discovered donut-shaped cloud around Saturn.

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Cassini Presents Saturn Moon Quintet

 

Written by Rosemary Sullivant
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – With the artistry of a magazine cover shoot, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this portrait of five of Saturn’s moons poised along the planet’s rings.

From left to right are Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and finally Rhea, bisected by the right side of the frame. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 684,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from Rhea and 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) from Enceladus.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures five of Saturn's moons in one image: Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Rhea is closest to Cassini here. The rings are beyond Rhea and Mimas. Enceladus is beyond the rings. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures five of Saturn's moons in one image: Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Rhea is closest to Cassini here. The rings are beyond Rhea and Mimas. Enceladus is beyond the rings. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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