FUSE Mission Status Report

Mission Status Report #60      Star Date: July 26, 2002

Good News for FUSE

Caption: Bill Blair (center), FUSE Chief of Observatory Operations, receives a NASA Group Achievement award on behalf of the FUSE project from NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe (left) and Associate Deputy Administrator Daniel Mulville (right). The ceremony was held at NASA-HQ in Washington on July 9, 2002. (Photo: NASA)

(Click image above to see larger version.)

Good news abounds on the FUSE project this month. Satellite operations continue nominally with no new anomalies to report. Preparations for Cycle 4 of FUSE operations are well underway, and NASA will release the NASA Research Announcement "Call for Proposals" on July 31. Proposals will be due to NASA by October 10, 2002.

Two other pieces of good news occurred this month. On July 9th, at the annual NASA Honors Assembly at the Headquarters Building in Washington, FUSE was one of only a handful of science missions to receive a prestigious NASA Group Award. As shown in the photo above, I had the distinct honor of representing the project at this event and receiving the award from NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. The FUSE project also featured prominently in Mr. O'Keefe's remarks to the assembled crowd. It was a good day.

Perhaps more importantly, the project has also received word of NASA's intention to continue to fund the FUSE project through at least fiscal year 2006. This word comes as a result of the high ranking received by the project in the 2002 NASA Senior Science Review, a biennial peer review process that makes recommendations to NASA about its active programs. The project also received commendations from the review panel for the speedy recovery of operations after the reaction wheel problems experienced late last year. The budget is tight, but we now feel confident that we can operate FUSE well into the future. Plans to automate processes as much as possible to save money are well under way, and the Extended Mission phase of the FUSE project is slated to start in April 2003.

Reported by: Bill Blair, Chief of Observatory Operations

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