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Targets Overview

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Targets Overview

Powtawche Williams

Cassini Navigation Team

"Welcome to the seventh edition of Cassini Scientist for a Day!

My name is Powtawche, and I am a navigator on the Cassini team.

Part of my job is to design the maneuvers needed to send the spacecraft exactly where the scientists want it to go.

For this Spring 2009 edition, we have reserved two hours on the spacecraft on May 25. That's plenty of time for Cassini to image all three targets.

That day, Cassini will be approximately 1 million kilometers, about 600,000 miles, from Saturn's cloud tops.

The spacecraft will be traveling away from Saturn at a speed of about 8.5 kilometers per second, approximately 19,000 miles per hour.

Each of the three targets has scientific merit. You are to decide which of these would yield the best science return - and to write an essay illustrating your reasons.

Target number one is the heavily cratered moon Dione. Number two is a an image of Prometheus and Saturn's rings; and target three is made up of two images, one of Epimetheus and one of Janus – two moons that exchange orbit every four years.

My colleagues, Shawn, Nora and Chris will share their reasons for why you should pick their favorite target.

Your assignment is to learn as much as you can about these three targets and choose YOUR favorite to write about.

Your essays will be evaluated by Cassini scientists and educators. There will be a winner for each target.

Thank you for your interest in the Cassini mission, and good luck with your essays -- we look forward to hearing from you!"