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Mission Status Report #101      Star Date: April 2, 2007

Welcome to FUSE Cycle 8!

Caption: The FUSE satellite is seen superimposed on a Spitzer Space Telescope infrared image of the nearby star-forming region called the Carina Nebula. Many hot stars within this nebula, including the enigmatic Eta Carina itself, continue to be the subject of intense studies with FUSE. Joint observations at several wavelengths using facilities from ground-based telescopes to NASA space telescopes such as Spitzer and FUSE, are required to fully understand complex processes such as star formation. (Graphic courtesy NASA and Lauren Fowler, the JHU FUSE project.)

(Click image above to see larger version.)

April 1, 2007, marked the official start of Cycle 8 of FUSE operations! Like clockwork, the timeline that was delivered last week (to begin execution this week) is the first to contain accepted Cycle 8 targets, along with some targets from previous Cycles that have yet to be observed. This is the culmination of months of effort by our planning and user support staff, not to mention our user community, to prepare for a fresh new round of observing. Our database is now brimming with some 8+ million seconds of new observation requests that will be the main focus of our activities over the next 18 months. A word of thanks to these folks for their dedicated work to make this possible.

FUSE operations continue to improve with time as our intrepid staff finds new ways to make FUSE work better. In early March, we observed the giant planet Jupiter as part of the New Horizons mission flyby activities. This was a momentous accomplishment, not only for the science it will enable but because Jupiter is in a part of the sky where FUSE operations are almost entirely precluded now that only one reaction wheel remains operational. A lucky "window of stability" and a lot of extra work by the FUSE team allowed us to successfully make this important observation, a feat we thought nearby impossible just a few months ago. If you are interested in learning more about the New Horizons mission, go to THIS LINK.

I offer continued thanks to all of the FUSE Sciences Operations team, including our partners on the Mission Operations Team from Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc., and our colleagues at Orbital Sciences Corporation, as well as the JHU operations staff, for their ongoing efforts as we continue to operate the FUSE satellite observatory.

Reported by: Bill Blair, FUSE Chief of Observatory Operations

Last Update: April 2, 2007

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