Engineers troubleshoot instrument on Cassini craft

June 16, 2011
Artst concept of Cassini spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL

NASA says an instrument aboard the Cassini spacecraft studying Saturn and its moons is temporarily out of service.

The space agency said Wednesday the plasma spectrometer, which measures the energy of electrons and protons, was turned off this week as a precaution after a on the spacecraft.

Engineers are troubleshooting the problem. It's not clear when the instrument will be back online. NASA says Cassini will continue to collect other data.

Cassini launched in 1997 and entered orbit around Saturn in 2004 to study its rings and many moons. The mission is a project of NASA, the and the Italian Space Agency.

Explore further: Strings of Shadowy Rings Drape Saturn

0 shares

Related Stories

Strings of Shadowy Rings Drape Saturn

September 17, 2004

Saturn's ring shadows appear wrapped in a harmonious symphony with the planet in this color view from the Cassini spacecraft. Saturn and its rings would nearly fill the space between Earth and the Moon. Yet, despite their ...

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 ...

Saturn images to be displayed in New York

April 21, 2008

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration says some of the best images from Saturn and the planet's rings and moons will be displayed in New York.

Cassini begins new chapter on brink of Saturn summer solstice

September 28, 2010

Turning a midsummer night's dream into reality, NASA's Cassini spacecraft begins its new mission extension -- the Cassini Solstice Mission -- today. The mission extension will take Cassini a few months past Saturn's northern ...

Engineers assessing Cassini spacecraft

November 5, 2010

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., are working to understand what caused NASA's Cassini spacecraft to put itself into "safe mode," a precautionary standby mode. Cassini entered safe mode around ...

Recommended for you

Galaxies show appetite for growth

August 4, 2015

The extent to which galaxies consume one another has been revealed in research. Findings from the study help to explain how galaxies such as the Milky Way were formed.

Will SETI's unprecedented new program finally find E.T.?

August 4, 2015

Stephen Hawking, Frank Drake and dozens of journalists gathered at the Royal Society in London last week to hear astronomers announce a ground-breaking new project to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life called "Breakthrough ...

Tracking a mysterious group of asteroid outcasts

August 4, 2015

High above the plane of our solar system, near the asteroid-rich abyss between Mars and Jupiter, scientists have found a unique family of space rocks. These interplanetary oddballs are the Euphrosyne (pronounced you-FROH-seh-nee) ...

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.