FUSE Mission Status Report

Mission Status Report #73      Star Date: Mar. 29, 2004

FUSE Cycle 4 Winds Down, Cycle 5 Ramps Up!

Caption: Graphic showing how FUSE would look on-orbit. The telescopes are looking toward the upper right in this picture, and only two of the four telescope doors are visible from this angle. The blue rectangles represent the solar panels, which connect to the spacecraft at the bottom. (Figure courtesy NASA and the FUSE project.)

(Click image above to see larger version.)

I am happy to report that operations with FUSE continue to go very well. The last two months have seen continued nominal operations for FUSE, which is just the way we like it. We are coming to the end of Cycle 4 of FUSE observing, and over 90% of Cycle 5 programs are in the planning system. (The first Cycle 5 observation actually crept into the first timeline last week.) We are primed and ready for another exciting year of FUSE observing!

Cycle 4 has been a successful year of transition for the project. We moved from the Prime Science Mission into the Extended Mission phase. We moved from our original flight control system to the new "Zero-gyro" control system (see this previous report). We moved from a 365/24/7 operations mode to a reduced 16-hour M-F staffing schedule with automation. And through it all, we have actually had our best year ever, with a 38% on-target efficiency (up from about 32% the previous year. Needless to say, these successes come through the creativity and hard work of our dedicated staff that runs the observatory for NASA through a facility here at Johns Hopkins. We thank you all!

Plans are well underway for a major conference, "Astrophysics in the Far Ultraviolet: Five Years of Discovery with FUSE," to be held in Victoria, BC, Canada, from August 2-6, 2004. Visit the conference web site [no longer active] for details. The registration deadline is April 30, 2004.

Reported by: Bill Blair, Chief of Observatory Operations

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