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Titan Flyby - 28 December 2006

Titan Flyby - 28 December 2006

27 December 2006

Just 16 days after Titan-21, Cassini returns to Titan for its twenty-third targeted encounter. During this last flyby of the year, Titan's gravity field will be measured by Cassini's radio science instruments in search for a potential subsurface ocean. The closest approach to Titan occurs on Thursday, 28 December, at 10:05:22 UTC at an altitude of 1300 kilometres above the surface and at a speed of 5.9 kilometres per second. The latitude at closest approach is 40.2° N and the encounter occurs on orbit number 36.

This encounter is set up with two manoeuvres: an apoapsis manoeuvre on 20 December and an approach manoeuvre, scheduled for 25 December. This inbound encounter occurs about 3 days before Saturn closest approach.

Science Activities

  • Radio Science Subsystem (RSS)
    The RSS observations will track the spacecraft from Earth before, during, and after closest approach to Titan. RSS will obtain Doppler and ranging data to help deduce details of Titan's gravity field. Also, RSS will attempt to determine the existence of an internal ocean by measuring the dynamic Love number, k2, of Titan.
  • Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS)
    T22 is a far-infrared focused flyby for CIRS. During the flyby CIRS will obtain two surface temperature maps, aimed to detect surface temperature variations in a window region near 500 cm-1 (20 μm). In addition two composition integrations will be performed, designed to map the spatial variation of CO, H2O, and HCN via far-infrared rotational lines.
  • Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
    High resolution coverage of Tsegihi.

Table of Events

24 November 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-22
Activity
16:30:00 - 33d 18h Start of sequence S26 which contains Titan-22

12 December 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-22
Activity
12:10:00 - 15d 22h Descending ring plane crossing

15 December 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-22
Activity
10:37:00 - 12d 23h Ascending ring plane crossing

25 December 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-22
Activity
05:34:00 - 03d 05h OTM #85 prime, Titan-22 minus 3 day targeting manoeuvre

26 December 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-22
Activity
05:19:00 - 02d 05h OTM #85 backup

27 December 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-22
Activity
14:19:00 - 19h 46m Turn cameras to Titan
14:49:00 - 19h 16m Deadtime, 15 minutes long; used to accommodate changes in flyby time
15:04:22 - 19h 01m Titan atmospheric observations. Obtain information on the structure of Titan's stratosphere

28 December 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-22
Activity
01:35:22 - 08h 30m Titan gravity field determination; RSS Doppler and ranging data
04:35:22 - 05h 30m Titan atmospheric observations. Obtain information on surface & tropopause temperatures
07:35:22 - 02h 30m Titan gravity field determination; RSS Doppler and ranging data
10:05:22 + 00h 00m Titan-22 flyby closest approach time. Altitude = 1300 km, speed = 5.9 kms-1; low phase inbound, 62° phase at closest approach, high phase outbound
11:35:22 + 01h 30m ISS Imaging NAC regional map
13:35:22 + 03h 30m Titan atmospheric observations. Obtain information on surface and tropopause temperatures
15:35:22 + 05h 30m Titan gravity field determination; RSS Doppler and ranging data.
18:35:22 + 08h 30m Titan atmospheric observations. Obtain information on trace constituents in Titan's stratosphere
21:05:22 + 11h 00m Deadtime, 13 minutes 38 seconds long; used to accommodate changes in flyby time
21:19:00 + 11h 14m Turn to Earth-line
21:19:00 + 11h 14m Begin playback of T22 data. Madrid 34M

29 December 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-22
Activity
03:54:00 + 17h 49m Continue playback of T22 data. Goldstone 70M
06:49:00 + 20h 44m End playback of T22 data

31 December 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-22
Activity
05:18:00 + 02d 19h Saturn periapse. R = 9.8 Rs, lat= -44°, phase = 31°


Observation Results

Cassini Instrument: Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS)

Date:   1 February 2007

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Image Notes: Huge cloud system covering Titan's north pole down to latitude ~62° N. Composite view of three wavelengths: 2 μm (blue), 2.7 μm (green), and 5 μm (red).

Cassini Instrument: Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)

Date:   2 February 2007

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Image Notes: Ultraviolet view with narrow-angle camera, showing a banded pattern in the stratosphere where super-rotation is strong. Scale ~8 km/pixel.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
28-Oct-2021 14:32 UT

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https://sci.esa.int/s/8JenZzW

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