13 Nov 2002
(Source: Institute of Space and Astronautical Science)
MUSES-C Overall Testing Follow-Up
November 13, 2002
The MUSES-C overall testing that started in December last year finished its core part, a mechanical environment test, in July. This test was to verify performance of axes through vibration and shock tests in a simulated launch environment. Then the MUSES-C managed a heavy test schedule including the tests on the pyrotechnics of solar cell paddles, alignment of Light Detection and Ranging and Near-Infrared Spectrometer, discharge of pseudo propellant, performance of Laser Range Finder and range sensor that triggers sampler, and irradiation of solar batteries. At present, thermocouples are being pasted in preparation for a thermo-vacuum test. During this series of tests, the ISAS open house was held and visitors had a rare opportunity to feel the realism of actual work on an explorer as we had to keep working, even without Saturdays off, to meet the tough schedule. We assume that children must also have enjoyed this opportunity as they could see the explorer at full scale, which looked quite different from its structural model. Reflecting growing public interest in the universe, we received many visitors this time. What interested them most, I think, was a sampler, then a capsule. It seems natural for them to find interest in these two as these are the ones that will bring back some samples from another celestial body. Those who had a chance to see them both loaded onto the explorer are really lucky, because due to our operational procedures, it was not so frequent when they both were on the explorer. It was maybe only for 2 weeks through the whole testing period, still less for the moment when the sampler was extended.