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Proceedings Paper

Operations with the FUSE observatory
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Paper Abstract

The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer satellite (FUSE) is a NASA Origins mission launched on 1999 June 24 and operated from the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus in Baltimore, MD. FUSE consists of four aligned telescopes feeding twin far-ultraviolet spectrographs that achieve a spectral resolution of R=20,000 over the 905-1187 Å spectral region. This makes FUSE complementary to the Hubble Space Telescope and of broad general interest to the astronomical community. FUSE is operated as a general-purpose observatory with proposals evaluated and selected by NASA. The FUSE mission concept evolved dramatically over time. The version of FUSE that was built and flown was born out of the "faster, better, cheaper" era, which drove not only the mission development but also plans for operations. Fixed price contracts, a commercial spacecraft, and operations in the University environment were all parts of the low cost strategy. The satellite performs most functions autonomously, with ground contacts limited typically to seven 12-minute contacts per day through a dedicated ground station. All support functions are managed by a staff of 40 scientists and engineers located at Johns Hopkins. In this configuration, we have been able to achieve close to 30% average on-target science efficiency. In short, FUSE is a successful example of the "faster, better, cheaper" philosophy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 February 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4854, Future EUV/UV and Visible Space Astrophysics Missions and Instrumentation, (24 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.459814
Show Author Affiliations
William P. Blair, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Jeffrey W. Kruk, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Henry W. Moos, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
William R. Oegerle, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4854:
Future EUV/UV and Visible Space Astrophysics Missions and Instrumentation
J. Chris Blades; Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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