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Questions tagged [cassini]

Questions related to the Cassini–Huygens spacecraft sent to Saturn.

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13
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1answer
234 views

What are the “crossing beams of light” in the Cassini images taken during Enceladus plume flyby?

Whilst checking the latest images of the E-21 flyby returned by the Cassini probe, I've noticed that some of them show interesting optical phenomena that I'm not sure I can explain; For example, on ...
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1answer
2k views

How can Cassini be a source of potential biological contamination?

In Wikipedia they mention that the Cassini spaceship will be destroyed in by sending it into Saturn's atmosphere: However, due to the spacecraft's dwindling fuel resources for further orbital ...
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Flying fuel tanks! Which deep-space spacecraft had the largest fuel mass fraction?

The Los Angeles Times' Deborah Netburn just wrote a really nice retrospective; ‘OK. Let’s do it!’ An oral history of how NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn came to be with plenty of photos and quotes ...
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Why are sections of Cassini photographs blurred?

In this photograph of Rhea, taken by the Cassini orbiter, there are sections near the terminator that are very blurred, a stark contrast from the crisp sharpness of the rest of the image. The blurred ...
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How long will Cassini survive its dive into Saturn's atmosphere?

The Cassini spacecraft has been exploring Saturn's system since 2004 and is scheduled to be sent into Saturn's atmosphere at the end of its mission following a final encounter with Titan in 2017. ...
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3answers
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What does flying in Enceladus's plume accomplish?

I've been having a hard time understanding what flying through Enceladus's plume accomplishes. Cassini is an orbiter. It seems odd that it would have instruments that could even analyze the plume at ...
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726 views

Why are we concerned about Cassini contaminating Saturn's moons when we landed Huygens probe on one of them?

Cassini is scheduled to crash land into Saturn later in 2017. The reason stated was that they did not want to risk contaminating any of Saturn's moons. However, during the Cassini mission, we landed ...
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321 views

Did Huygens take a picture of Cassini?

In reference to a question about pictures of Cassini, I stated that it was possible that Huygens could have tested out its camera immediately after separation by taking a picture of Cassini. Was ...
9
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1answer
301 views

What force is bringing Cassini down into Saturn's atmosphere in another 145 days; drag, or…?

Headlines suggest (as do their articles) that as a gravitational result of Cassini's final flyby of Titan, it's fate is sealed and it's orbit is destined to take it into Saturn's atmosphere on ...
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2answers
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How (the heck) do they know some lakes on Titan are 100 meters deep?

JPL News item NASA's Cassini Reveals Surprises with Titan's Lakes NASA's Solar System Dynamics New item Cassini Reveals Surprises with Titan's Lakes point out that some lakes on Titan have been ...
8
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1answer
308 views

Could Cassini crash land on Mercury?

I saw a news article once that discussed having Cassini use gravity assists to crash land on Mercury to end it's life. Is this even possible, and is there a chance that this could actually happen? Or ...
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What was happening with the DSN/ Cassini?

I decided that I wanted to see DSN receive the last bits of data from DSN Now. The last data was supposed to be received at about 7:55. The signal seemed to continue strong until about 10 minutes ...
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Is Cassini running out of fuel?

In their (misleadingly titled) article NASA's Cassini probe dives into Saturn's atmosphere, CNN reports Once the final five orbits are complete, Cassini will plunge towards Saturn, with seven ...
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1answer
251 views

Why would Cassini need to reach 64 degrees inclination before “threading the needle”?

The NY Times article Cassini’s Final Mission: Obliteration says that the Cassini spacecraft will end it's more than a decade long exploration of the Saturn system by raising the inclination of its ...
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642 views

Will Cassini contaminate Saturn?

Cassini is going to crash into Saturn later this month to avoid contaminating one of its moons. Why isn't anyone worried that Cassini will contaminate Saturn itself? Life might exist in Saturn's ...
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What is the nature of a “flux tube” between Saturn and Enceladus, and what does “L‐shell=4” mean?

The NASA JPL YouTube video Sounds of Saturn: Hear Radio Emissions of the Planet and Its Moon Enceladus (below, also here) provides and audio and spectral representation of plasma waves recored by ...
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Cassini flyby through Enceladus plume - How risky is that for the spacecraft and its instruments?

This Wednesday, October 28 2015 at 11:22 a.m. EDT (15:22 UTC), Cassini spacecraft will flyby through the Enceladus plume at only 30 miles (49 km) altitude to analyze plume chemistry with its ion and ...
6
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1answer
368 views

Unravelling Cassini's “ball of yarn” orbit around Saturn, tabulation of propulsive maneuvers?

The cool GIF on the NASA JPL Cassini resources page All Orbits (2004-2017): The Ball of Yarn is quite beautiful to look at, but it also hints at some beautiful engineering and orbital mechanics as ...
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444 views

Does the Apollo 10 “music” still occur on modern spacecraft?

In the news today, are reports of "outer-space-type music" that the Apollo 10 crew heard. From the mission transcript (page 197 of the PDF): ...
5
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1answer
143 views

Why did Cassini have reaction wheels but Galileo, Juno and New Horizons don't?

Three gas giant planet orbiters are mentioned in this answer: Cassini - Uses Reaction Wheels and thrusters Galileo - Primarily managed via spinning the spacecraft and thrusters. Juno - Just ...
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119 views

Photographs and Videos “of” Cassini

There are many images of Cassini with Saturn in the background on the internet. How are these photos taken? Is the video of Cassini disintegrating in Saturn's Atmosphere real or made using graphics?
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Is Cassini's 183rd burn; some kind of engine record?

I've just read that when Cassini makes its first close pass of Saturn's F-ring on December 4, it will be the 183rd engine burn which sounds like a lot for orbital maneuvers using a spacecraft's main ...
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152 views

What are the white streaks and specks in many of the Cassini images of Saturn?

I was looking at the Cassini raw images taken from Apr. 26, 2017 4:45 AM to 9:09 AM, and I noticed that some of them show a lot of white specks. Sometimes the specks appear to be streaks. What are ...
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What is the evidence that the dunes of Titan are made of “water chips”?

The Southern California Public Radio news item What Cassini saw on Titan: 'Dunes of the Arabian desert' but made of water chips, not sand explains: "Little chips of water ice come off (the ...
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Why are there so many waveguide feeds (?) near the focus of Cassini's dish antenna?

Cassini has quite a complex Radio Science Subsystem. Accorting to that article (and confirmed in Wikipedia): Cassini is the only deep space mission to transmit to Earth at three radio wavelengths (...
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Cassini's camera continuum band filters

In The Pod Bay, we were talking about some pictures that Cassini took of Enceladus recently. We were discussing the calibration pictures and the filters that the spacecraft uses. A NASA FAQ page for ...
4
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1answer
205 views

Is Cassini equipped for detection of non-water-based exobiology?

Looking at one of the latest images of Titan's north pole as taken by Cassini probe made me curious how well equipped this NASA's probe actually is to detect non-water-based exobiology?   &...
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1answer
127 views

Is the equatorial mountain range of Iapetus due to cold erosion?

Iapetus, satellite of Saturn, has a huge mountain range along about half its equator. On this list of our solar system's biggest mountains, it is the only entry with uncertain origin. ..The ...
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Delta-v obtained from Titan by the Cassini spacecraft; just how much of a “gas tank” was it?

In the video Cassini at Titan: A World Unveiled after about 01:56 Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory says: Not only was Titan ...
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2answers
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What video or imagery was captured onboard Cassini during its descent into Saturn's atmosphere?

I'm very interested to see first person what Saturn's upper atmosphere looked like as Cassini began its descent into it. What footage exists of this, an where can it be viewed? (I'm not interested in ...
3
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1answer
230 views

Save energy in plane changing orbital maneuver

I just read about Cassini's upcoming orbital maneuvers where there's a nice animation showing Cassini's orbits. Here's a frame of the animation: I see a lot of plane changes, i.e. the probe's orbital ...
3
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Are there both “lake” and “sea” designations on Titan? Officially or otherwise?

@TomSpilker's excellent answer to How (the heck) do they know some lakes on Titan are 100 meters deep? says at the very end: As far as the lakes (smaller than the seas) go, as the sources you cite ...
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1answer
98 views

'Noodle' zigzagging of a mapping spectrometer

During Cassini's "T16" 16th flyby of Titan on 2006 July 22, its mapping spectrometer for the first time utilized the 'noodle' technique of taking long, zigzagging spectra instead of single ...
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Saturn is “singing” to Enceladus? [duplicate]

This article claims Cassini, during its final few weeks around Saturn, detected plasma waves that were directed at Enceladus. How do we know these detected plasma waves were "directed" at Enceladus? ...
2
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1answer
153 views

Does a Titan flyby guarantee that a spacecraft can escape Saturn?

Could a spacecraft orbiting Saturn, like Cassini, use a Titan gravity assist to leave the Saturn system (e.g. to bring a sample back to Earth), without using fuel other than to reach Titan?
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1answer
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When did we stop getting transmissions from Huygens?

On January 14, 2005, the Huygens lander touched down on the surface of Titan. It sent back several images and plenty of other telemetry data, relayed by the Cassini orbiter overhead. When did we ...
2
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1answer
98 views

Where to get Cassini VIMS data and optical transmission spectra of Titan's atmosphere?

In the extensive 2010 paper HYDROCARBON DEPOSITS ON TITAN by Clark et al. there are two plots that show Titan's atmospheric transmission windows. These plots (Figures 1 and 5) can be used to indicate ...
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1answer
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Cassini: difference between trajectory and orbital trim maneuvers in this list?

I found this site with quite a substantial amount of data, tabulations, and more for many space exploration missions. There are detailed information on the Cassini mission here: http://www.dmuller....
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How will the Cassini spacecraft help constrain the mass of Saturn's rings?

In the BBC news article To see finally the face of Peggy (Peggy is a very small moonlet interacting with a ring) there is an audio interview with Carl Murray of Queen Mary University of London. After ...
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1answer
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Titan's interior

I'm reading an article and it says It's [sic] internal makeup is likely differentiated into several layers, with a 3,400-kilometre (2,100 mi) rocky center surrounded by layers composed of ...
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If Cassini's final flyby of Saturn's moon Titan is the 127th Titan flyby, why is it called “T-126”?

Cassini's final flyby of Titan in April 2017 sealed it's fate in September of that year. This is described further in answers to What force is bringing Cassini down into Saturn's atmosphere in another ...
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What observations will Cassini take during its “Grand Finale”?

Cassini's Grand Finale is underway. What special observations will be taken during this time that were not possible before the Grand Finale?
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535 views

Does Cassini have one or two identical main engines - if two, how does that work?

I just read that when Cassini makes it's first close pass of Saturn's F-ring on December 4, it will be the 183rd time the engine fires. I googled Cassini's engine and found this site which has a cool ...
0
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1answer
417 views

Cassini's main engines' burns “can be blow-down or pressurized (with Helium)” - why?

I just read that when Cassini makes it's first close pass of Saturn's F-ring on December 4, it will be the 183rd time the engine fires. I googled Cassini's engine and found this site which has a cool ...
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27 views

How many times was NASA's Cassini mission extended?

To the question Chandrayaan 2: How has life of the orbiter increased from 1 year to more than 7 years? I was going to mention Juno and Cassini, but I couldn't figure out if I should say that Cassini ...
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Did Cassini's Titan flyby's have scheduled TCM's afterwards? If so, were they usually used?

In this answer I wrote: But while NEO's are fairly passive and only weakly propulsive (outgassing, photon pressure and thermal radiation effects) deep space spacecraft are active and substantially ...