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Cassini Getting the Lowdown on Titan This Weekend

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posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 06:37 AM

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will take its lowest dip through the hazy atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan in the early morning of June 21 UTC, which is the evening of June 20 Pacific time. This weekend's flyby, which is the 71st Titan flyby of the mission even though it is known as "T70," takes Cassini 70 kilometers (43 miles) lower than it has ever been at Titan before.

Titan's atmosphere applies torque to objects flying through it, much the same way the flow of air would wiggle your hand around if you stuck it outside a moving car window. Cassini mission planners and the NASA Engineering and Safety Center in Hampton, Va., have analyzed the torque applied by the atmosphere in detail to make sure the spacecraft can fly safely at an altitude of 880 kilometers (547 miles) above the surface.

And also go to Cesar Bertucci's blog explaining more about the mission to find out whether Titan has it's own magnetic fiel or not.
So really it's all rather interesting and maybe a little risky as Cassini will for the first time be inside of the moons ionosphere.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 07:08 AM
This is one of the best threads I've seen in a while. Keep it up! I am excited to find out what happens with Titian.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 12:06 PM
reply to post by Y2Zgt

It is fairly interesting news, and I think it will definitely be more interesting to see what the results are. I'll try and see what comes of it and post it here or anyone else can, but who knows how long it will be before they can analyse all of the data and release the information.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 12:16 PM
I like the way in which NASA is being a bit more aggressive with Cassini. I understand the original need to be careful to protect the multi-billion dollar project at the beginning of the mission (i.e., it would have been disastrous if the spacecraft was damaged after only a few months of reaching its target in 2004).

However, now that it has done much more than was nominally planned, I'm glad they are attempting to do a bit more risky things -- things that might get them much more information in return, such as swooping through Enceladus' water-ice geysers, or -- as the OP mentioned -- passing inside Titan's ionosphere.

Yeah -- it would be a shame if something happened to Cassini during these dangerous maneuvers, but it would also be of a shame if NASA didn't attempt to get this scientific data at all.

Keep us posted, pazcat, and in the meantime I'll continue to visit Cassini's website:

[edit on 6/18/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 04:09 AM
It seems as if the mission was a success and all went as it was planned.
You can read Julie Webster's blog here and get her point of view of the mission.
It's not overly detailed but says that there was at least one alarm which needed a reset.

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