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davidhw
2007-Mar-01, 01:01 AM
Is there enough fuel on Cassini to have it go into orbit around Titan? I was looking at the latest radar imagery of the moon and got to thinking that, at this point in the mission, it might be more scientifically interesting to get a complete radar study of Titan's globe than to take yet another look at "dead" moons like Rhea and Dione.

Doodler
2007-Mar-01, 01:08 AM
It'd be nice, but somehow I'm not willing to bet on it. Its got quite a bit of orbital velocity that would have to be shed in order to get it ready for a Titan insertion. If it were possible, it might involve diving close to Saturn to get it into an ellipse that could conceiveably allow a capture, and the rings kinda complicate that...

davidhw
2007-Mar-01, 02:32 AM
Maybe a better question at this point then is "how much of Titan's globe will be radar mapped by the end of Cassini's current mission?" I keep looking at the relatively few swaths and it pains me to see how little of Titan's surface has so far been observed in this highly detailed manner.

Hamlet
2007-Mar-01, 03:14 AM
Maybe a better question at this point then is "how much of Titan's globe will be radar mapped by the end of Cassini's current mission?" I keep looking at the relatively few swaths and it pains me to see how little of Titan's surface has so far been observed in this highly detailed manner.

It looks like there will be 14 more flyby's of Titan in 2007 (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/cassini-calendar-2007.cfm) and 5 more in 2008 (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/cassini-calendar-2008.cfm).

The 2007 Saturn Tour Highlights (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/index.cfm) shows that at least 3 of those flybys will be for radar imaging.

See here (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/faq/mission.cfm#q8) for a FAQ describing why Cassini won't be able to go into orbit around Titan or any of the Saturnian moons.

According to this (http://www.esa.int/esapub/bulletin/bullet92/b92kohlh.htm) document:


Radar images will be taken at a typical resolution of 500 m. Altimetry and passive radiometry measurements will also made. Approximately 1% of Titan's surface can be mapped during a flyby. Full coverage will be accomplished by combining the high-resolution radar mapping with lower-resolution passive radiometry

astromark
2007-Mar-01, 06:51 AM
Thanks for the links Hamlet. excellent.
Yes the orbital velocity of Casinie is far to quick for a insertion into Titans orbit. Just be patient. Casinie will be passing by Titan many times over the next few years, she may not map it all but, some is much better than none. We have yet much to learn from Casinie.