FUSE Mission Status Report

Mission Status Report #74      Star Date: May 28, 2004

FUSE Approaches Five Years In Orbit

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. We are well into cycle 5 of FUSE observations, which began April 1, 2004, and the satellite is performing beautifully.

June 24th will mark a momentous occasion for the project -- our fifth anniversary of launch! We plan to celebrate locally with a luncheon, and invite all our local FUSE friends, including many who worked on the development of FUSE to come back for the occasion! Please contact Lauren Fowler (lfowler@pha.jhu.edu) for more information.

Just yesterday evening, we passed another rather significant milestone. It was almost exactly 900 days after launch when the reaction wheel failure occurred (10 December 2001), and as of yesterday it has been another 900 days since that failure. To be more precise: by 2004:148:22:00:00 -- 6 p.m. EST Thursday, 27 May 2004 -- the mission will have been operating longer with two reaction wheels than with 3+. (Thanks to Bryce Roberts for providing this tidbit!) We are extremely pleased that operations continue not only to go well in the two-wheel mode, but continue to improve as we learn more about operating in this mode and as we develop improved ground support software.

Many in the FUSE community are eagerly looking ahead to the Fuse Conference in Victoria in early August. FUSE results are being presented at many conferences this summer, but the Victoria conference should be a real bonanza. Special thanks to our Canadian friends for hosting this conference, and to all of the attendees!

Reported by: Bill Blair, Chief of Observatory Operations

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