Cassini-Huygens Mission Status Report
Cassini Swaps Thrusters
PASADENA, Calif. – Early this morning the Cassini spacecraft relayed
information that it had successfully swapped to a backup set of propulsion
thrusters late Wednesday.
The swap was performed because of degradation in the performance of
the primary thrusters, which had been in use since Cassini's launch
in 1997. This is only the second time in Cassini's 11 years of flight
that the engineering teams have gone to a backup system.
The thrusters are used for making small corrections to the spacecraft's
course, for some attitude control functions, and for making angular
momentum adjustments in the reaction wheels, which also are used for
attitude control. The redundant set is an identical set of eight thrusters.
Almost all Cassini engineering subsystems have redundant backup capability.
Cassini has successfully completed its original four-year planned tour of
Saturn and is now in extended mission operations.
More information on the mission is available at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov
. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative
project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL,
a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the
Cassini mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The
Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.