Cassini-Huygens Status Report - November 2007
A spectacular close flyby of Saturn's moon Iapetus was completed on 10 September with a closest distance of 1640 km. Just after the completion of the Iapetus flyby the Cassini orbiter went into safing mode for the first time in 4 years due to the RF transmitter TWT solid state power switch being hit by a cosmic ray. Due to the reactivation procedures a few days of post-safing science was lost.
The Huygens radio receivers on board Cassini were re-activated on 4 November for about one hour. The objective of the test, which has been requested by the Orbiter radio science team, is to evaluate the usage of the Huygens radio science receivers for augmenting the capabilities of the Orbiter radio science investigation during the 2-year Cassini extended mission. The review/validation of the submitted DISR archive data set is being completed. DISR data release on ESA's PSA is expected by end November. Preparatory work is well advanced regarding the archiving of the Huygens VLBI observation data set (high-level data sets only). The Huygens probe radar altimeter thermal recalibration is completed. Pre-flight results were confirmed. The discrepancy between radar altimeter altitude measurements and the various (indirect) altitude reconstruction profiles remain unresolved. No date has been announced yet as to when the formal announcement of the Cassini extended mission will be made. However, planning of the extended mission proceeds nominally.