Engineers troubleshoot instrument on Cassini craftJune 16th, 2011 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
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 short circuit 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 European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.
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"Engineers troubleshoot instrument on Cassini craft." June 16th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-06-instrument-cassini-craft.html