Feeds

Cassini gives Iapetus a wide berth

Reducing uncertainty

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

The Cassini probe will not pass as close to the moon Iapetus as originally planned because of fears that the flyby will disturb the path of the $3.3bn space craft en route to Titan. Scientists have now tweaked the route so that Cassini will pass Iapetus from a greater, and therefore safer, distance, The Denver Post reports.

Larry Esposito, a space scientist at the University of Colorado and a member of NASA's Cassini science team said that the team was under a great deal of scrutiny.

After the failure of Beagle 2, and the crash-landing on the Genesis probe in Utah, the scientists on the team are doing everything they can in advance of the Huygens probe being dispatched to Titan to minimise the risks it faces. After all, this is a European-built Lander, scheduled to begin its descent to another world on Christmas day, and it will glide to the surface on parachutes just like those worn by the Genesis probe.

Genesis, sent to space to collect samples of the solar wind, crashed into the Utah desert on its return to Earth last month when its parachutes failed to open. After investigation it was determined that their activating switches had been attached backwards.

"There's a lot of attention being applied to this. We've adjusted some of our science operations, because of the challenges with Genesis," Esposito said.

The mission will fly its closest approach to Titan tonight. Scientists will study the composition of the atmosphere so that they can check the accuracy of their models. This additional information will be critical to those planning the descent and landing of the Huygens probe. ®

Related stories

Cassini approaches Titanic flyby
Neptune shows off five new moons
Cassini finds two tiny Saturnian moons

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.