A major milestone was passed last week when the FUSE satellite was removed from the thermal-vacuum chamber and returned to the large cleanroom at NASA/Goddard. Prior to exiting the vacuum chamber we completed verification that the mechanical design problem, described in Status Reports #7 and #9, had indeed been fixed. Also, the Satellite Control Center (SCC) on the JHU campus successfully ran a variety of important tests including:
With these tasks completed, we felt comfortable that FUSE had been adequately tested in vacuum.
Once in the clean room, the second inertial reference unit (IRU), each of which contains three gyroscopes, was removed from the satellite and returned to the vendor for repair. One repaired IRU is due back in mid-February and the one just sent will return in early March. In the meantime, the SCC continues to run tests to prepare for flight operations.
FUSE is scheduled to be shipped to Cape Canaveral on March 31, and be launched on May 28, 1999.
Reported by: Scott Friedman, JHU Project Scientist
Photo: FUSE being removed from the thermal vac tank at NASA/GSFC, January 28, 1999. [Digital camera photo courtesy Jann Smith, ICS.] (Click on photo to see enlarged version.)
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