Cassini Swaps Thrusters

March 12, 2009
Artist concept of Cassini spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL

(PhysOrg.com) -- Early this morning the Cassini spacecraft relayed information that it had successfully swapped to a backup set of propulsion thrusters late Wednesday.

The swap was performed because of degradation in the performance of the primary , which had been in use since Cassini's in 1997. This is only the second time in Cassini's 11 years of flight that the engineering teams have gone to a .

The thrusters are used for making small corrections to the spacecraft's course, for some attitude , and for making angular momentum adjustments in the reaction wheels, which also are used for attitude control. The redundant set is an identical set of eight thrusters. Almost all Cassini engineering subsystems have redundant .

Cassini has successfully completed its original four-year planned tour of Saturn and is now in extended mission operations.

Provided by NASA

Explore further: Cassini Goes On

Related Stories

Cassini Goes On

August 24, 2004

The Cassini spacecraft successfully completed a 51-minute engine burn that will raise its next closest approach distance to Saturn by nearly 300,000 kilometers (186,000 miles). The maneuver was necessary to keep the spacecraft ...

Cassini Controllers Overcome Software Glitch

April 19, 2006

NASA mission controllers said Friday that Cassini remains in "an excellent state of health and is operating normally" – although they did encounter a serious software problem last week that required a bit of jury-rigging ...

Journey to Saturn From Your Computer

February 1, 2008

Want a peek at Saturn as seen from space? A new interactive 3-D viewer that uses a game engine and allows users to travel to Saturn and see it the way the Cassini spacecraft sees it is now online at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/CASSIE ...

GIOVE-B spacecraft in good health

April 30, 2008

A second test satellite for Galileo, Europe's rival to the US Global Positioning System, is "in good health" despite a hiccup that emerged after it was placed in orbit last Sunday, the European Space Agency said on Wednesday.

Cassini Thruster Swap Planned

February 2, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Cassini spacecraft will swap to a backup set of propulsion thrusters in mid-March due to degradation in the performance of the current set of thrusters.

Recommended for you

Astronomers detect the farthest galaxy yet with Keck telescope

September 4, 2015

A team of Caltech researchers that has spent years searching for the earliest objects in the universe now reports the detection of what may be the most distant galaxy ever found. In an article published August 28, 2015 in Astrophysical ...

"Hedgehog" robots hop, tumble in microgravity

September 4, 2015

Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, and they can't operate upside-down. But ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.