Technicans roate a RTG to the horizontal position



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Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) workers David Rice, at left, and Johnny Melendez rotate a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to the horizontal position on a lift fixture in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The RTG is one of three generators which will provide electrical power for the Cassini spacecraft mission to the Saturnian system. The RTGs will be installed on the powered-up spacecraft for mechanical and electrical verification testing. RTGs use heat from the natural decay of plutonium to generate electric power. The generators enable spacecraft to operate far from the Sun where solar power systems are not feasible. The Cassini mission is scheduled for an Oct. 6 launch aboard a Titan IVB/Centaur expendable launch vehicle. Cassini is built and managed for NASA by JPL

Date: July 18, 1997



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