News From Saturn

Cassini images from its very close (50 km) fly-by of the water-spouting moon, Enceladus were signed, sealed and delivered to Earth overnight. The images are still in the process of being validated and calibrated, and only a few have been released as I type.

Four of the five instruments have, apparently, worked perfectly. But according to the NASA press release,

“An unexplained software hiccup with Cassini’s Cosmic Dust Analyzer instrument prevented it from collecting any data during closest approach, although the instrument did get data before and after the approach,” explains NASA (press release).

According to Cassini program manager Bob Mitchell

“When it went through the plume, it was not working properly,” Bob Mitchell, Cassini program manager, told Reuters. “We had tested that software very carefully. We don’t know why it didn’t work properly.”

As usual, Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society’s blog has the early results (with great picts!) posted.

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