MUSES-C Monthly Report No.1 February 20, 2003

Status Report From: Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS)
Posted: Friday, February 21, 2003

MUSES-C Overall Testing

Overall testing of the MUSES-C explorer resumed in November 2002 after temporary suspension due to a check on some on-board equipment. The final mechanical environment (vibration) test was completed in early December. The spacecraft will be delivered to the launch site at Uchinoura, Kagoshima Prefecture, after the completion of a thermal vacuum test, the measurement of inertia data such as weight, and the final functional check in January 2003. The launch site operation is scheduled to begin in mid-March. As the schedule is very tight, the team will work Saturdays and some Sundays.

As the launch date draws near, public interest in MUSES-C is growing and the number of visitors to our clean room is growing rapidly. Before the extension of the clean room, visitors could watch satellites or explorers through the glass wall of the monitoring room at the same level with the operators in their clean-room clothing. Now, visitors have to look down through a window at the end of the 2nd floor corridor. When ASTRO-F and MUSES-C were placed close-by on the same floor during the test, it looked spectacular.

The target marker, with the names of many people from across the world, is now mounted on the explorer. The marker will be dropped on the surface of asteroid 1998 SF36 prior to the spacecraft landing. We are now searching for a good name for the marker.

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