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25 Apr 2003
(Source: Institute of Space and Astronautical Science) MUSES-C Monthly Report No. 4
MUSES-C Overall Test Completed
April 25, 2003

The overall test of MUSES-C was completed in early March 2003. The explorer was dispatched from Sagamihara on March 12 and arrived safely at the launch site in Kagoshima on March 15. Inertia values such as weight and moment of inertia were measured at the final stage of the test and we were able to confirm that the actual weight matched the initial estimate by accumulative calculation.

As final test day neared, the number of visitors gradually increased, most likely because of the wide press coverage. Most visitors first impression was a disappointed "Oh...!" I guess they all imagined a far bigger satellite, because of the difficulties it had been through. The impressions changed over time. For example, "I'm surprised it is equipped with many things on the outside..." When they saw the golden MLI (Multi-Layer-Insulation) peculiar to the satellite, many visitors noticed and asked, "Why are there different portions of metallic luster, or blackish areas?" A good question. This is the unprecedented thermal control technology that is not so obvious but will be tested in the mission. We expect that visitors will be very interested in it.

From end March to early April, the 60kg-xenon gas filling was performed in Kagoshima. Since the new ion engine can be exposed to air, the filling operation is very smooth. The final preparation for the launcher system is planned from end April.

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Last Updated: 2 May 2003