Huygens 10th Probe Checkout
During the checkout, Cassini was in view of the NASA deep-space antenna at Canberra, Australia. The first signals arrived at the Huygens Probe Operations Center, in ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany about 66 minutes after they had left the spacecraft. This delay corresponds to the one-way-light-time between the Earth and Cassini which is almost 1200 million kilometres away.
Heavy rain at the Canberra station induced instancies of lock on the downlink signal, which resulted in data gaps. As the data were recorded on-board Cassini, the whole data set was retransmitted the next day via another DSN station in Goldstone, United States.
The preliminary analysis of the data indicated that the checkout was successfully performed.
The next Huygens activities are planned in late November 2002 (Probe Relay Test #5). The next in-flight checkout is planned for late April 2003.
Cassini-Huygens pages at JPL
Report by: Jean-Pierre Lebreton
Huygens Project Scientist