Cassini Lead Propulsion Engineer (bio)
Hello from the “flip” side of Enceladus! I’m happy to report via this blog that the Deep Space Network in
We’ve executed yet another successful flyby of Saturn’s ice-geyser moon! Playback data has just begun streaming to our breathless scientists and engineers at JPL, and it will continue throughout the evening and into tomorrow morning. With the rest of you, I’m pumped up for the raw (unprocessed) images that will be posted Tuesday morning, Pacific Time. For the latest raw images, check here:
Cassini engineering may pay my bills, but Cassini science sparks my passions.
A few engineers are still here, working away this evening, making sure the spacecraft came through its scientific marathon unscathed. I can’t speak for all these engineers, but I can tell you the propulsion subsystem is healthy and is ready for yet another Reaction Wheel Assembly (RWA) bias after midnight PDT. Thankfully, this activity is fairly commonplace, so long before then I plan to be celebrating another engineering success with some Olympics viewing, perhaps an appropriate beverage, and an indefatigable smile. It’s been a long day but oh so tremendous! Now let the flood of Enceladus science data commence!
6 thoughts on “Cassini Calls Home!”
Congratulations from Spain for all the team ….Now we are waiting anxiously for new information about flyby discoveries.
Augh! Early morning frustrations. First the clouds interfered with viewing the Perseids; now still no raw images from the Enceladus flyby. Gonna be a long commute into work.
Excellent work!. We knew thanks to your job Cassini would do it again. From Spain, my most sincere congratulations for this new mark for that fantastic mission. Now, it’s time to analyze that hot data coming from that cool world.
HI!! TOD BARBER ;
IN PROPULSION ENGINEERING :I’AM AN ELECTRONICS ENGINEER . I SEE WE DO GET THERE FAST ENOUGH FOR NOW. QUESTION IS .IS ANY THING ELSE CAPABLE OF THESE SPEEDS IN SPACE WITH PROPER SUPPLY OF FUEL TO GO THERE NOW AS HUMANS TO SATURN. SUCH AS IN THE SPACE SHUTTEL . WHAT ARE THE SPEDS WE CAN REACH IN SPACE WITH OWER SHUTTEL NOW REFITED WITH RIGHT ENGINES AND STRUCTURE OF SPACE CRAFT. ISN’T IT POSIBLE AS WE THOUGHT TO ALTER IT AND JUST GO BACK AND FORTH TO THE MOON AND SPACE STATION . SUCH AS THE ISS OR SIMULAR OUT FURTHER TO THE MOON AND THE SAME TO MARS .AND IS IT JUST NOT BUDGET TIME PERIOD OF SPENDING CAPABILITY COURSE IN THIS 10-10 YEAR GROWTH PERIOD SHORT OF OUTLAY.
Hey I can answer this one. The Space Shuttle can not even get out of Earth orbit. Well, I guess it could but it wouldn’t have enough fuel to return home. If humans are going to visit Saturn, they will probably need something birthed out of the Prometheus program (probably on its deathbed or at least seriously underfunded… besides, JIMO was axed a while back). That or humans might be catching a ride using some powerful Vasimir engines. You should google that. But the Space Shuttle is the worst vehicle for interplanetary exploration besides it already being incapable of it in the first place. You’d want a spacecraft that either rotates around an axis while it is cruising towards a planet (to simulate the effects of gravity) or a spacecraft with a section that rotates. You could alter the Space Shuttle to carry an immense amount of fuel and maybe “attach” it to a larger craft, but it’s best to design a craft from the ground up. You need to be protected from micrometeorites, radiation, have several redundancy systems, and of course enough fuel and life support.
By the way, this is very exciting! The images returned are simply amazing. I tried to post this in another blog but I will post this again: I am unsure if this is possible, but it would be awesome to end the Cassini mission in a similar way as NEAR Shoemaker. Try to do a soft landing on a moon other than Titan or Enceladus. I am unsure if the orbital mechanics of Cassini would allow it to intercept a moon with somewhat of a similar velocity so that Cassini wouldn’t just crash. Maybe you could slow Cassini down before attempting something such as this?
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