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


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