Video Transcript: News From Saturn


Hello and welcome to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. My name is James Gerhard, and I am one of the operations engineers on the Cassini program here to share the latest news from Saturn. My job is to make sure the two cameras on the Cassini spacecraft stay safe and secure. I also write the commands that tell the cameras what to do. The coolest part of my job is that I get to see the images the minute we receive them on the ground. During our most recent flyby of Titan on March 25, 2007, the Radio Science Team successfully completed two unique experiments. The first experiment used Cassini’s high-gain antenna to bounce radio signals off of Titan and back to Earth. This experiment provided information about Titan’s surface such as whether areas are liquid or solid and how rough or smooth the surface might be. This experiment probed an area we looked at before with the cameras where many "lake-like" features exist. The second Radio Science experiment used the high-gain antenna to transmit radio signals to Earth through Titan’s atmosphere, giving us new information about it. This was the first time radio science has probed this area of Titan, so we are very excited to see the results. Also during this flyby, the narrow and wide angle cameras took almost 270 images, searching for more lake like features. Cassini's next flyby of Titan on April 10 will be even closer than the last at only be 615 miles above the surface. Radar will capture more of the feature nick-named "The Black Sea" that we were tantalized with during a previous Titan encounter, (PIA08365). The infrared mapping instrument will probe Titan's amazing clouds. From Pasadena, California, I am James Gerhard with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and your latest news from the ringed planet.