Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

FUSE Satellite Completes Five Years in Orbit

22.06.2004


Project marks unique collaboration with NASA

NASA’s Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) satellite will reach a major milestone on Thursday, June 24, 2004 – the five-year anniversary of its launch atop a Delta-II rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

The 18-foot tall, 3,000 pound satellite continues to operate from its perch nearly 500 miles above the Earth’s surface, gathering unique data about everything from planets and nearby stars to galaxies and quasars billions of light years away. Groundbreaking science done during FUSE’s five years in orbit include a first-ever observation of molecular nitrogen outside our solar system; confirmation of a hot gas halo surrounding the Milky Way galaxy; and a rare glimpse into molecular hydrogen in the Mars’ atmosphere, among other findings. By its fifth anniversary, FUSE will have collected more than 47 million seconds of science data on more than 2,200 unique objects in the cosmos.



“The sheer magnitude and amount of scientific work that is being produced using FUSE is beyond even what we had imagined,” said Warren Moos, FUSE’s principal investigator and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences in Baltimore. “Scientists working with FUSE have produced a steady flow of papers – a half dozen a month – each representing a major scientific study. What has been accomplished is extremely impressive and very satisfying.”

Designed and operated by a team of engineers and scientists at Johns Hopkins, FUSE is the largest astrophysics mission NASA has ever handed off to a university to manage. The project also has input from the Canadian and French space agencies.

“Astronomers are using FUSE to produce very exciting and unexpected results,” said George Sonneborn, FUSE project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.. “FUSE has discovered a new component of the Milky Way galaxy, is charting very hot gas in the vast regions of universe between distant galaxies, and is probing the nature of disks of gas and debris around young stars where planets may form.”

FUSE comprises four telescopes that function as a single instrument, dissecting far-ultraviolet light from distant objects into high-resolution spectographic information used by astronomers from around the world. With more than 10,000 times the sensitivity of its predecessor – the Copernicus satellite in the 1970s – FUSE complements the Hubble Space Telescope by observing light at wavelengths too short for that instrument to see. Since its launch, astronomers have used FUSE to study stars and nebulas in nearby galaxies, to discover a new component of the Milky Way galaxy and even to probe the vast regions of space between distant galaxies in the universe.

Despite the obvious successes, there have been times over the past five years when serious problems threatened the satellite’s pointing control system and thus, the mission itself. In late 2001, two of the device’s four reaction wheels – components that point the satellite’s telescopes and keep them steady – stopped working, leaving the mission in peril.

Rather than close up shop as some feared, FUSE scientists and engineers collaborated intensely for two months and devised a solution: using a combination of software and other hardware to mimic the functions of the missing wheels.

“It’s been a real roller-coaster ride,” says William P. Blair, FUSE’s chief of observatory operations and physics and astronomy research professor at Johns Hopkins. “But we’ve overcome the problems and, if anything, FUSE is now working better than ever.”

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov
http://fuse.pha.jhu.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Broadband achromatic metalens focuses light regardless of polarization
21.01.2019 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht Lifting the veil on the black hole at the heart of our Galaxy
21.01.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Bifacial Stem Cells Produce Wood and Bast

Heidelberg researchers study one of the most important growth processes on Earth

So-called bifacial stem cells are responsible for one of the most critical growth processes on Earth – the formation of wood.

Im Focus: Energizing the immune system to eat cancer

Abramson Cancer Center study identifies method of priming macrophages to boost anti-tumor response

Immune cells called macrophages are supposed to serve and protect, but cancer has found ways to put them to sleep. Now researchers at the Abramson Cancer...

Im Focus: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

How our cellular antennas are formed

22.01.2019 | Life Sciences

Proposed engineering method could help make buildings and bridges safer

22.01.2019 | Architecture and Construction

Bifacial Stem Cells Produce Wood and Bast

22.01.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>