A significant amount of science data was lost during the recent Titan flyby as a result of an operational problem at the DSN tracking station, and a software error on the spacecraft. The software error was the larger contributor of the two causes, and the data loss resulted from an improperly set flag preventing the spacecraft from writing to or reading from the A side of the solid state recorder, so the result was performing the encounter with only half of the expected data storage volume. Commands will be sent on September 15 to reset the flag to its proper value, and normal operation is expected after this. The nature of the code error is now fully understood and has been reproduced in the spacecraft test bed. A decision will be made in the near future whether to correct the flight code or to implement workarounds to prevent the conditions that led to execution of the faulty code.
These problems led to the loss of all data after 1 minute prior to closest approach (because the "B" recorder was full at that point) as well as our high resolution mosaic, VIMS' medium resolution mosaic, and the RADAR inbound altimetry data. We did, however, obtain our global mosaic (a portion was released publically earlier this week) and RADAR received a portion of their SAR swath over central Tsegihi, Mezzoramia, and some features a little farther to the east.