No. 7 - Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre
The manoeuvre was necessary to adjust the spacecraft's course to achieve the desired ring plane crossing conditions on June 30. Cassini-Huygens will pass through a known gap between two of Saturn's rings, called the F and G rings. The region of passage through the ring plane was searched for hazards with the best Earth- and space-based telescopes and by Cassini itself. To protect the spacecraft from particles too small to be detected from Earth, Cassini will be turned to use its high-gain antenna as a shield.
During the manoeuvre, Cassini's main engine burned for 38 seconds to slow the spacecraft by about 3.6 meters per second. In the next few days, mission managers will evaluate the tracking data to ensure the spacecraft is on the correct path for the Saturn encounter. All indications show everything is on target. Subsequent manoeuvres are possible should tracking data indicate they are needed to correct the course of the spacecraft.