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SPC Report November 2006

SPC Report November 2006

The Cassini Orbiter mission continues smoothly. The planning for the extended mission beyond mid-2008 is well advanced.

A series of possible tours were evaluated at the Cassini-Huygens PSG held in Nantes in June. A new series of possible tours will be evaluated at the upcoming PSG in Pasadena in mid-October. The plan is to select two tours for detailed evaluation and final selection of the 2+-year extended at the next PSG to be held in January 2007. Titan and Enceladus are expected to be primary targets of the extended mission.

Science highlights

Each Titan fly-by brings surprises as the radar probes new territory. Lakes have been spotted near the North Pole. But one does not know yet whether there are dry or filled with liquid. Upcoming observations of the same territory under a different geometry may help answer the question. Ethane clouds have been detected by the Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS).

The analysis and interpretation of the Huygens data continues. The excellent scientific return of Huygens is well illustrated by the movies recently released by the Huygens/DISR team (see link on right-hand side). These movies give a good account of the work done so far by all the teams to understand and interpret the probe performance during the descent and the returned science data. A recent detailed interpretation of the Huygens observations by Titan meteorologists suggests that methane was drizzling the day of the Huygens landing. A new series of coordinated publications on the Huygens scientific results is in preparation for Planetary and Space Sciences. A series of publications on the ground-based observations performed at the time of the Huygens missions appeared in the June-July issue of JGR.

Huygens data archiving

5 out of the 8 Huygens scientific data sets (ACP, GCMS, HASI, DWE, and engineering data set) have been delivered to the ESA Planetary Science Archive (PSA) in early August. The data set is also mirrored in the NASA PDS atmospheric node. The last three data sets (SSP, DISR, and DTWG) are still going through the review process that needs to be fully completed before being released.

A procedure is being put in place to allow regularly maintaining the data set as calibration of the data progresses (GCMS/ACP calibration in progress). New elaborated data products are also included when available (and once they have successfully passed the review process).

Editor's note
This report was prepared on 13 October 2006, and presented to the SPC on 7-8 November 2006.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
25-Mar-2023 19:53 UT

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