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Mission Status Report #99      Star Date: November 28, 2006

FUSE Completes One Year in One-wheel Science Operations!

Caption: This histogram plot shows the dramatic improvement in FUSE performance over the last year. Green shows the achieved science time per month and black shows the down time due to unexpected safe mode entries. (Graphic courtesy MaryBeth Kaiser and Alice Berman, the JHU FUSE project.)

(Click image above to see larger version.)

November 1, 2006, marked the end of one-year back in official science operations with FUSE, after recovering from the loss of the third (out of four) reaction wheels that normally controlled ee this previous report.) After struggling for the first 9 months of 2005 with various preliminary versions of one-wheel control, we uplinked a revised control software package and declared ourselves "open for business" again starting officially Nov. 1, 2005. As the graphic above shows, we have seen steady improvement in performance as we have gained experience9 with this control scheme. By analyzing telemetry and satellite performance, we continue to improve our software tools for planning observations with the satellite and the results are showing: the quality and quantity of observations we are scheduling with FUSE exceeds anything we had a right to expect after the most recent reaction wheel problem.

During the last week of November, we marked another milestone in this ongoing aadventure: the execution of the 600th Mission Planning Schedule of the mission! Mission Planning Schedules, or MPSs as we like to call them, form the heart and soul of what we do: these are the detailed timelines of all the activities and events that drive the operations of the satellite. MPSs are delivered to the Satellite Control Center about one week ahead of time. This allows the Mission Operations Team to convert the MPS into "spacecraft-speak" -- the scripts and commands that make FUSE work. This translation is carefully checked prior to uplink and execution on the satellite. If you have followed these reports over time, you know how lucky we are to have reached this milestone, and how excited we are that this isn't the end, but rather just another step in the journey of this incredible workhorse of a satellite/telescope. There remains much to be done!

At this writing, the 8th round call for FUSE proposals is closed. We had another very strong request for new observations, and we are awaiting the final results of NASA's review of these proposals to produce the next round of potential FUSE observations for the coming year.

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 improve FUSE operations.

Reported by: Bill Blair, FUSE Chief of Observatory Operations

Last Update: November 28, 2006

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