Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer Operational Again
24 Feb 2006
(Source: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory)
I am delighted to say that FUSE is operating well, and that operations in the one-reaction-wheel control mode continue to proceed nominally. This may sound boring, but it is great news to those of us who have worked so hard over the last year to bring FUSE back into science operations after the loss of the third out of four reaction wheels that normally control the satellite pointing. Operations with the new control system continue to improve as we gain more experience with it.
More good news is that we now have a full complement of Cycle 7 targets in our planning database and available for scheduling. Accepted Cycle 7 programs were announced in December, and Phase 2 inputs in support of actual scheduling were due no later than Jan. 31, 2006. Some observers turned materials in early, and a number of Cycle 7 observations have already been scheduled on the satellite even though Cycle 7 only begins "officially" on March 1. We are off to a running start! (Note: All Cycle 7 targets were selected to be in the portions of the sky above absolute declinations of 50 degrees.)
FUSE scientific results were highlighted in a number of presentations at the recent American Astronomical Society meeting January 8-12, 2006, in Washington, DC. In all, we counted 43 FUSE-related presentations. A special session on FUSE science was scheduled on Thursday, and a special coordinated poster session contained 23 separate results! This was a very strong showing, and indicates there is still plenty of science coming out of FUSE. We have posted an AAS 207 Summary page with photos and PDF files of many of the science results that have been contributed voluntarily by the authors. Thanks to them for sharing these results through our web site.
I also 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 efforts so far, and for their ongoing efforts as we continue to improve FUSE operations.
Reported by: Bill Blair, FUSE Chief of Observatory Operations