June 16, 2011

NASA Shuts Off Cassini’s Spectrometer As Precaution

NASA said on Wednesday that an instrument aboard its Cassini spacecraft is temporarily out of service.

It said the plasma spectrometer aboard the spacecraft studying Saturn was turned off this week as a precaution after a short circuit.

This instrument is used to measure the energy of electrons and protons.

Engineers are troubleshooting the problem, but it is unclear when the instrument will be back online.

NASA said Cassini will continue to collect other data while this instrument is inoperable.

Cassini launched in 1997 and entered orbit around Saturn in 2004 to study its rings and moons. 


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