Whilst upgrading the background processes to allow for the upcoming Cassini multiple flybys, I have also fixed some errors that occurred in missions where there is no distance flown information available.
The Cassini mission had its extended-extended mission approved and will run until 15 Sep 2017 when it will be deliberately crashed into Saturn (to protect Titan from Earthlings contamination). I have uploaded the new timeline as well as the general trajectory (the data that the system will fall back on when the segment trajectory data runs out). The latest segment trajectory is up as well and runs to early March 2010. Go Cassini!
The three weekly flights to Christmas Island are set for take-off on Thursday 1 April 2010 (no joke!) with services between Perth and Cocos Island commencing shortly after on Saturday 3 April. Flights between Cocos Island and Christmas Island will also commence on 3 April. Virgin Blue has committed one of its executive-style Embraer E-190 jets onto the new routes, an aircraft which has the capacity to carry 104 Guests on each sector, upload more freight and reduce the overall flying time to and from the mainland. Read the full media release …
I will include this information into the realtime rotation simulations as soon as possible.
The latest Cassini sequence trajectory data has been uploaded and will be used until it expires on 04 Feb 2010. After that date, the data will fallback to the base data until the new trajectory sequence is available.
Dawn cruise sequence DC036 has been uploaded as well and will take over on 08 Feb 2010.
I found this quote on Stephen van Vuuren’s blog, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Huygens landing on Titan. These thoughts were made 300 years before Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot:
How vast these Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only to flatter their Ambition in being Masters of some pitiful corner of this small Spot.
-Christiaan Huygens, New Conjectures Concerning the Planetary Worlds, Their Inhabitants and Productions, c. 1690.