Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

Day 241/365: Cassini launch articles from 1997: Ye Olde Newspaper Clippings

My boss and I have begun the sad task of sorting through and either saving, re-purposing, or throwing out thirty-odd years of accumulated Cassini information. Today I found these newspaper clippings on my desk. He discovered them last night and thought I’d want them. He was right.

From The Orlando Sentinel, 16 October 1997. “Next stop for Cassini: Saturn: Probe’s long journey will keep scientists and critics waiting”

From The Palm Beach Post, 16 October 1997. “Cassini launch magnificent, uneventful: Plutonium-fueled ship Saturn-bound”

Continuation of the above. “Cassini will deploy probe to large Saturn moon Titan”

From Florida Today, 16 October 1997. “Cassini: ‘It’s beautiful’: Controversial probe sets out for seven-year journey to Saturn”

Continuation of the above. “Saturn-bound probe streaks into space: Thrilled spectators applaud the predawn liftoff”

I didn’t know Cassini’s launch had attracted protesters due to its plutonium power source. Their signs...! “I don’t want to glow in the dark” is my favourite. I also wonder who sent these clippings to the MAG team, or if my boss had collected them himself. Must remember to ask him when he’s in next.

On a less sad note, here is an item that has been re-purposed! This is a mu-metal can, used to test magnetic field sensors. It isolates the sensor from the Earth’s magnetic field, so the sensor can be calibrated. This can was used when Cassini was being built, to test the Vector Helium Magnetometer (VHM). We will now use it in the lab to test the JUICE magnetometer sensors.

Mu metal can has a rather spiffy casing and even a handle to make it easy to carry (they’re heavy!). My feet included in the photo for scale.

Looking down into the can. Notice crumbling yellow dot matrix printer paper, which had some markings on it that seemed to indicate where the sensor should be positioned. I can't be sure sure. Then again, this equipment predates my arrival in the lab by more than ten years, and I’ve been working here for twelve.

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Tags: cassini, nostalgia, photo, project, project: 365 posts, science, science history

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