FUSE Mission Status Report

Mission Status Report #40      Star Date: January 5, 2001

FUSE Project Shuffles Key Personnel

Caption: Changing of the Guard: Bill Blair (left), new Chief of Observatory Operations, accepts the "Key to FUSE" from outgoing Chief of Science Operations, Bill Oegerle. With this change in leadership has also come some restructuring of the project, with an eye toward improving service to the user community.

[Photo taken 12/13/00 by Bryce Roberts.]

(Click image above to see larger version.)

Hello World,

All continues to go extremely well on the FUSE project, with the satellite hardware behaving nominally, and ground operations at JHU going smoothly.

The Project at JHU has undergone some adjustments after the announcement in November that Bill Oegerle, Chief of Science Operations, would be leaving Dec. 15. Bill has led the Project for seven years, throughout it's development phase, through launch, and the first year of science operations. We owe Bill a huge debt of gratitude for his many dedicated years of service to the project and for his leadership.

As we look toward the future, we decided to perform some modest restructuring of science operations. In Cycle 2, Guest Investigators get 50% of the observing time, and in Cycle 3 they will become majority users. In the extended mission, ALL observations will be selected by way of Guest Investigator proposals, peer reviewed and selected by NASA. Hence, the FUSE Project is already in transition from being a "Principal Investigator" mission to an general use Observatory. In recognition of this fact, Bill Blair has been bumped up to become the new Chief of Observatory Operations (from his previous position as head of the Mission Planning segment). Jeff Kruk, as Deputy Chief, will maintain a watchful eye over many technical aspects of the Project. Alice Berman will now lead the mission planning, and a User Support Group is being formed, which will be led by GI Officer B-G Andersson.

As the Project matures, we are seeing an increase in the reporting of science investigations using FUSE data. The upcoming American Astronomical Society Meeting in San Diego (Jan. 7-11) is a case in point: 44 presentations are being made at this major astronomy meeting based on FUSE data, including many by Guest Investigators as well as the PI Science Team! You can view and print a list of paper titles and authors HERE. Even a quick scan of these titles shows the wide range to science being performed with this workhorse satellite, from progress on major science programs like deterimining the deuterium abundance in the local interstellar gas, to cosmology and intergalactic medium studies using observations of extragalactic objects, to studies of individual stars and nebulas in our own Milky Way galaxy. We look forward to providing you with details of some of these results in the near future.

It should be an exciting year on the FUSE Project! Happy New Year to you all!

Reported by: Bill Blair, Chief of Observatory Operations

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