Cassini begins transmitting data from Enceladus flybyAugust 13th, 2008 - 3:57 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, August 13 (ANI): The Cassini spacecraft has began sending data to Earth following a close flyby of Saturns moon Enceladus.
During closest approach, Cassini successfully passed only 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the surface of the tiny moon.
Cassinis signal was picked up by the Deep Space Network station in Canberra, Australia, and relayed to the Cassini mission control at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
We are happy to report that Cassinis begun sending data home, said Julie Webster, Cassini team chief at JPL. The downlink will continue through the night and into tomorrow morning, she added.
Closest approach occurred at approximately 3:21 p.m. PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) on August 11th, while Cassini was traveling at a swift 17.7 kilometers per second (40,000 miles per hour) relative to Enceladus.
During the flyby, Cassini focused its cameras and other remote sensing instruments on Enceladus with an emphasis on the moons south pole where parallel stripes or fissures dubbed tiger stripes line the region.
That area is of particular interest because geysers of water-ice and vapor jet out of the fissures and supply material to Saturns E-ring.
Scientists hope to learn more about the fissures and whether liquid water is indeed the engine powering the geysers.
There is a lot of anticipation and excitement about what todays flyby might reveal, said Bob Pappalardo, Cassini project scientist, also of JPL. Over the next few days and weeks, the Cassini teams will be analyzing the photos and other data to tease out new clues about this tiny, active world, he added.
Two more Enceladus flybys are planned for October.
The first of those will cut the flyby distance covered by Cassini on August 11th in half and bring the spacecraft to a remarkable 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the surface. (ANI)
- NASA's Cassini finds plethora of plumes and hotspots at Enceladus - Feb 24, 2010
- Saturnian moon may have fizzy ocean capable of harbouring life - Jan 29, 2011
- NASA's spacecraft discovers warm fractures on Saturn's moon - Dec 01, 2010
- NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures dramatic views of Saturn's 2nd largest moon - Dec 22, 2010
- Titan shaped by weather, not ice volcanoes - Apr 10, 2011
- Cassini to swoop by Saturns geyser-spewing moon on August 11 - Aug 08, 2008
- NASA's Cassini spots possible ice volcano on Saturn's moon - Dec 15, 2010
- Giant ocean found on Saturn's moon - Jun 30, 2012
- Oxygen atmosphere found on Saturn's moon - Nov 26, 2010
- NASA spacecraft to photograph Saturn's moons - Apr 03, 2010
- NASA spacecraft makes deepest dive yet into Saturn moon's jets to find life - Nov 03, 2009
- Electrical current between Saturn and its moon discovered - Apr 21, 2011
- Seeds of life detected on Saturns moon - Mar 27, 2008
- Saturn's moon Enceladus may host a salty ocean - Jun 25, 2009
- Enceladus Spits Fumes, Scientists Awestruck - Feb 25, 2010
Tags: active world, canberra australia, cassini mission, cassini project, cassini spacecraft, deep space network, flyby, flybys, geysers, jet propulsion laboratory, liquid water, moon enceladus, pacific daylight time, pappalardo, project scientist, remote sensing instruments, supply material, team chief, tiger stripes, tiny moon