Wednesday, July 20, 2005

T7 flyby altitude raised

I haven't mentioned this before on this page, but last week's Cassini Significant events update reported that the altitude of the T7 flyby, set to take place on September 7, has been raised from 1025 km to 1075 km, based on the recommendation of the Titan Atmospheric Modeling Working Group. There is concern that the haze layer over the summer hemisphere may be inflated compared to the winter hemisphere. All close approaches of Titan thus far have been over the northern hemisphere, the current winter hemisphere. The Cassini data that has gone into the atmospheric model has thus been mostly from the northern hemisphere. So to prevent a safing event caused by a loss in attitude control, the flyby altitude has been raised. Such an increase could lead to issues with mosaic and swath designs for ISS, VIMS, and RADAR as they make observations during the flyby.


Anonymous jerry said...

Good decision! Do you know if they were able to reconciliate the molecular head count with the excess 'drag' Cassini experienced near Titan?

It will be very interesting see the gravitational anomalies charted from closest-pass to Enceladus. Sometimes extraordinary evidence is found only in the details.

7/26/2005 10:41:00 AM  

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