Engineers troubleshoot instrument on Cassini craft

Jun 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: How bad can solar storms get?

0 shares

Related Stories

Journey to Saturn From Your Computer

Feb 01, 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

Apr 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.

Engineers assessing Cassini spacecraft

Nov 05, 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 ...

Strings of Shadowy Rings Drape Saturn

Sep 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. Ye ...

Recommended for you

How bad can solar storms get?

May 22, 2015

Our sun regularly pelts the Earth with all kinds of radiation and charged particles. How bad can these solar storms get?

Mars rover's ChemCam instrument gets sharper vision

May 22, 2015

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover's "ChemCam" instrument just got a major capability fix, as Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists uploaded a software repair for the auto-focus system on the instrument.

GOES-R satellite begins environmental testing

May 21, 2015

The GOES-R satellite, slated to launch in 2016, is ready for environmental testing. Environmental testing simulates the harsh conditions of launch and the space environment once the satellite is in orbit. ...

User comments : 0

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.