Trying to Be Patient

John SpencerJohn Spencer, Cassini Scientist on the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (bio)

Yeah!  We made it!  I wasn’t too worried about the plume passage, as I wrote yesterday, but it was still wonderful to hear last night that Cassini had contacted Earth and was sending home its precious cargo of Enceladus data.  Not only did we survive, which was never much in doubt, but the spacecraft was healthy and the data were looking good.  This morning, the beautiful images of Enceladus posted on the Cassini raw image Web site provided further confirmation that things had gone well.  And there was more welcome news from the folks at Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland, where our Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) instrument was built and is operated.  The CIRS data have been collected from the Deep Space Network, compiled at JPL, transferred to Goddard, and everything looks as expected.  The data are now going through the time-consuming calibration process, converting the raw bits into spectra that will reveal some of the secrets of the active south polar region.  We should be able to transfer the calibrated data to Boulder and start work on it in an hour or two–I can’t wait!

4 thoughts on “Trying to Be Patient”

  1. Please excuse me if this has already been answered. What type of data do you expect to receive and analyze? Will you be detailing the makeup of the plume content, and if by chance any microbial “somethings” exist within the analyzed liquid, would the data show as much?

  2. Judging from the picture I think that Author used to work on Voyager and was of the one of the first who saw active volcanism on Io. Talk about doing research on fascinating objects. I guess next one should be Triton (one day soon hopefully). Congratulation to the team.

  3. I was wondering how soon we can expect to hear about any results. I know you all want to publish but we’re anxiously awaiting to hear anything about the spectrometer results…


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