Cassini Swaps Thrusters

Mar 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: NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP Satellite team ward off recent space debris threat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cassini Thruster Swap Planned

Feb 02, 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.

GIOVE-B spacecraft in good health

Apr 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 ...

Cassini Controllers Overcome Software Glitch

Apr 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 ...

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 ...

Cassini Goes On

Aug 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 spacec ...

Recommended for you

The formation and development of desert dunes on Titan

37 minutes ago

Combining climate models and observations of the surface of Titan from the Cassini probe, a team from the AIM Astrophysics Laboratory (CNRS / CEA / Paris Diderot University) , in collaboration with researchers ...

'Eau de comet' is a bit of a stinker

1 hour ago

Rotten eggs, horse pee, alcohol and bitter almonds: this is the bouquet of odours you would smell if a comet in deep space could be brought back to Earth, European scientists said on Thursday.

The great world wide star count

1 hour ago

How many stars can you see at night? Right now people all over the world are being asked to go out and count them!

User comments : 0