facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

NASA looking at Cassini radio problems

Jan. 13, 2012 at 8:06 PM   |   Comments

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- NASA says it's conducting diagnostic tests on its Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn after its signal was not detected during a tracking pass in late December.

The spacecraft has been communicating with Earth using a backup radio system, the space agency said in a release Thursday.

The problem centers on the ultra-stable oscillator, used for radio science experiments and also as a means of sending data to Earth.

Cassini mission engineers say the spacecraft has shifted to an auxiliary oscillator, whose frequency stability is adequate for transmitting data from the spacecraft to Earth.

Tests this month will help mission managers decide whether it will be possible to bring the ultra-stable oscillator back into service, NASA said.

Age may by a reason for the problem, NASA said, noting Cassini has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004 and has had its mission extended twice.

Cassini was launched in 1997.

Topics: NASA
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
6,000-year-old temple discovered in prehistoric Ukraine settlement 6,000-year-old temple discovered in prehistoric Ukraine settlement
2
An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again
3
NASA orbiter beams back images of Siding Spring comet NASA orbiter beams back images of Siding Spring comet
4
Study: Fish just wanna have fun Study: Fish just wanna have fun
5
DC drone hobbyists in limbo over flying locations DC drone hobbyists in limbo over flying locations
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback