Transcript:Hello and welcome to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. I'm Todd Barber, lead propulsion engineer on the Cassini mission to Saturn, with your latest news from the ringed planet.
On June 27th, 2007, the Cassini spacecraft made its second of two close flybys of Saturn's icy moon Tethys (teethys) . Tethys is coated with particles from Saturn's E-ring that may contribute to its brightness. This flyby focused on Ithaca Chasma, a system of canyons that is four times as long as Earth's Grand Canyon. Scientists want to know how these canyons formed--was Tethys active in the past? Or did the canyons form due to large impact events like the one that produced the large crater Odysseus?
Cassini flew by Titan on June 29, 2007 and completed a portion of the tour we call the pi-transfer. We used low-altitude flybys of Titan, and Titan's gravity, to sling-shot the spacecraft into higher inclination orbits around Saturn. This enabled us to get these never-before-seen views of the rings, including this breathtaking image from high above the ringed planet's cloudtops.
Our next Titan encounter will take place on July 19, 2007. This flyby will feature bistatic scattering observations just to the west of the Huygens landing site. Bistatic scattering is a type of radio science observation used to determine the nature and composition of the surface and it will provide important context information for the successful Huygens mission.
That's the latest news from the ringed planet. This is Todd Barber at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.