Cassini spacecraft's solar conjunction ends
CASSINI PHOTO RELEASE
Posted: July 12, 2004
The Cassini spacecraft emerged from behind the Sun today after being in solar conjunction since July 5. The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Deep Space Network's Goldstone tracking station near Barstow, Calif., today. The spacecraft is in excellent health and operating normally.
Just before Cassini began its transit behind the Sun, it snapped pictures of Saturn's moons Mimas, Tethys, Rhea and Iapetus. These and other new pictures from Saturn can be found as raw images at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/index.cfm.
Solar conjunction occurs when the Sun is between the spacecraft and Earth. During this time, the spacecraft conducts only limited science observations. Command and downlink capability is reduced to a minimum, with an uplink command file consisting of 10 commands sent every five minutes, 10 to 20 times a day. The purpose of this test is to assess the spaceraft's ability to receive commands from Earth when the signal path goes so close to the Sun.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.