NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft With Northrop’s Navigation Tool Travels Through Gap Between Saturn, Rings

A Northrop Grumman-built navigation platform has worked to provide attitude control capabilities for NASA’s Cassini space vehicle in support of the Saturn exploration mission.

The spacecraft with Northrop’s Space Inertial Reference Unit maneuvered through a 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings on April 26, the company said Thursday.

Northrop’s SIRU navigation platform has a hemispherical resonator gyro component and works to provide data on critical angular rate to facilitate attitude control and stabilization of spacecraft and satellites as well as their corresponding instruments.

NASA expects Cassini to perform up to 22 dives between Saturn and its rings to collect additional data on the planet through mid-September.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been operating the Cassini spacecraft for NASA’s science mission directorate since its launch in 1997 as part of the mission that seeks to study the planet, its rings, magnetosphere and moons.

Northrop has supplied products to NASA in support of MESSENGER and other space exploration missions and leads an industry team that builds the James Webb Space Telescope through a contract with the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

NASA plans to launch the telescope in late 2018.

You may also be interested in...


Fluor to Compete for Tasks on GSA’s OASIS Contract; Tom D’Agostino Quoted

Fluor holds a five-year position to compete for task orders in multiple professional service areas under the General Services Administration's One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services contract vehicle.

Damon Griggs CEO Dovel Technologies

Dovel Creates Advisory Board, Names New Leadership; Damon Griggs Quoted

Dovel Technologies has created an advisory board and appointed skilled leadership to provide guidance for the company’s strategic plan to drive innovation, customer success and employee growth. "I am thrilled these well-known leaders have chosen to join Dovel's Advisory Board," said Damon Griggs, Dovel CEO.

MC-130J Airlifter

Lockheed, USAF to Enter Airlifter Munition Delivery Project’s Fourth Phase

Lockheed Martin received a $25M contract to help the U.S. Air force assess the feasibility of deploying weapons through an airlifter under the fourth phase of USAF's Palletized Munitions Experimentation Campaign.