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Titan Flyby - May 2006

Titan Flyby - May 2006

19 May 2006

Only 21 days after Titan-13, Cassini returns to Titan for its fifteenth targeted encounter. The closest approach to Titan occurs on Saturday, 20 May at 12:18 UTC at an altitude of 1879 km above the surface and at a speed of 5.8 kilometres per second. The latitude at closest approach is 0.4° (near equatorial) and the encounter occurs on orbit number 24.

This encounter is set up with two manoeuvres: an apoapsis manoeuvre that was scheduled for 7 May, and an approach manoeuvre, scheduled for 17 May. This inbound encounter occurs about 2 days prior to Saturn closest approach.

Science Activities

  • Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) - will probe haze optical properties, atmospheric nitrogen emissions and hydrocarbon absorption, and absorption by methane of the Lyman-alpha interplanetary background which will help to understand the distribution of methane in the thermosphere of Titan.
  • Radio Science Subsystem (RSS) - A T14 ingress/egress occultation of Titan will provide a high-spatial-resolution electron number density profile of the ionosphere, temperature-pressure and absorption profiles of the neutral atmosphere, as well as information about the small-scale structure of the atmosphere (gravity waves, turbulence, layers). An inbound and outbound RSS bistatic scattering observation of Titan's surface will provide information about the dielectric constant, nature, and roughness of the region probed.
  • Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) - will perform high spectral resolution studies of Titan's limb in the far-infrared regime unseen by Voyager, to search for new species and to map the vertical distribution of CO, CH4, HCN and H2O. CIRS will also continue existing campaigns of global temperature and composition mapping, extending spatial and temporal coverage.

Table of Events

22 April 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-14
Event
05:15:00 -28d 07h Start of Sequence S20 which contains Titan-14

17 May 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-14
Event
18:41:00 -02d 18h OTM #61 Prime, Titan-14 minus 2 day targeting manoeuvre

18 May 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-14
Event
18:41:00 -01d 18h OTM #61 Backup

19 May 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-14
Event
19:56:00 -16h 22m Start of the TOST segment
19:56:00 -16h 22m Turn cameras to Titan
20:26:00 -15h 52m Deadtime, used to accommodate changes in flyby time
20:48:00 -15h 30m Far IR limb stare; stratospheric studies. Obtain information on CO, HCN, CH4

20 May 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-14
Event
03:18:00 -09h 00m Mid IR limb mapping. Obtain vertical profile of temperature in stratosphere
04:48:00 -07h 30m UV spectral imaging. Probe haze optical properties, atmospheric nitrogen emissions & hydrocarbon absorption
05:41:00 -06h 37m Ring Plane Crossing
08:56:00 -03h 22m Transition to thrusters, 22 minutes duration
09:18:00 -03h 00m Visible & UV Imaging
09:48:00 -02h 30m IR limb observations. Investigate stratospheric compounds, including H2O
12:10:00 -00h 08m Titan wake
11:13:00 -01h 05m Radio science (RSS) bistatic inbound. Determine physical properties of Titan's surface
12:03:00 -00h 15m RSS atmospheric occultation. Understand atmospheric and ionospheric structure
12:18:12 +00h 00m Titan-14 Flyby Closest Approach. Altitude = 1879 km, speed = 6.0 kms-1; 163° phase at closest approach
12:34:00 +00h 16m Radio science (RSS) bistatic outbound. Determine physical properties of Titan's surface
13:21:00 +01h 03m Transition back to reaction wheels, 21 minutes duration
13:43:00 +01h 25m Visible & IR limb observations. Investigate stratospheric compounds, including H2O
14:33:00 +02h 15m Visible & IR limb observations. Context imaging; global temperature & composition mapping
22:18:00 +10h 00m Analysis of dust environment

21 May 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-14
Event
09:16:00 +20h 58m Deadtime, used to accommodate changes in flyby time
09:26:00 +21h 08m Turn to Earth-line
09:56:00 +21h 38m Begin Playback of T14 Data, Madrid 70M
19:56:00 +01d 08h End Playback of T14 Data

22 May 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-14
Event
08:56:00 +01d 21h Saturn Periapsis

Observation Results

Cassini Instrument: Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)

Date: 21 June 2006

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Image Notes: A wide angle camera view at visual wavelengths of Rhea, Saturn's second largest moon, in the background and Titan with its extended atmosphere.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
21-Sep-2021 19:36 UT

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https://sci.esa.int/s/ABZ7B5A

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