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No. 9 - Solar Conjunction Ends

No. 9 - Solar Conjunction Ends

The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft emerged from behind the Sun today after being in solar conjunction since 5 July. The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Deep Space Network's Goldstone tracking station near Barstow, California, today. The spacecraft is in excellent health and operating normally.

Just before Cassini-Huygens began its transit behind the Sun, it snapped pictures of Saturn's moons Mimas, Tethys, Rhea and Iapetus.

Solar conjunction occurs when the Sun is between the spacecraft and Earth. During this time, the spacecraft conducts only limited science observations. Command and downlink capability is reduced to a minimum, with an uplink command file consisting of 10 commands sent every five minutes, 10 to 20 times a day. The purpose of this test is to assess the spacecraft's ability to receive commands from Earth when the signal path goes so close to the Sun.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
19-Sep-2020 03:10 UT

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