National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
MESSENGER Update
MESSENGER Update
7 Jan 2004
(Source: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory)

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/webcam/annotatedimages/annotated-20040107.html

MESSENGER Gets an Earful
January 7, 2003

One of MESSENGER's first tasks after arriving at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center last month was acoustic vibration testing, which measures the spacecraft's ability to withstand the sound-induced shaking during launch. Very powerful speakers were set up around the spacecraft in Goddard's reverberant acoustic chamber and engineers cranked the volume of a "rumbling roar" sound past 140 decibels - louder than a rock concert or a jet engine! As in the mid-December vibration tests, conducted on shake tables at the Applied Physics Laboratory, MESSENGER came through the acoustic test unscathed.

In this image from Dec. 28, MESSENGER team members check the spacecraft after the acoustic test by deploying a solar panel, using the same type of pyrotechnically triggered separation nuts MESSENGER will use in flight. Both solar panels as well as the Magnetometer boom were successfully deployed.

The gold-colored material on the back of the solar panel - vapor-deposited aluminized Kapton - will protect the panel from heat radiating off the surface of Mercury during the science orbit. The Kapton also will keep the panel cool in case its backside inadvertently points toward the Sun.

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
 
 
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 9 Jan 2004