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#26 2004-08-04 10:47:59

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

/Me sitting here, staring at the screen, trying to get my brain unknot...

probably because i'm used to read 00.56 instead of 12.56.... (24-hours notation)

*Military time:

Launch occured at 0015 hours on August 3.

Spaceref.com posted the news at 1030 hours on August 3.

--Cindy  smile


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#27 2004-08-04 13:34:05

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

heehee, i understood already.

interesting though that Americans call 24hrs notation "military time," here its very common (my computer now displays 21:31)

Probably a remnnant from WWII, after liberation Europeans took over *a lot* from the military, e.g. rock 'n roll, but possibly the time notation too, for its 'cool' factor...

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#28 2004-08-16 08:14:02

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/s … ml]Another mystery for MESSENGER to unravel

*Is Mercury the incredible edible egg? 

Erm...whoops!  Ha ha ha ha!   :;):  I meant to say:  Is Mercury the incredible shrinking planet?

Fascinating article (tidbits here):

"Among the odder Mercurian attributes scientists hope to test is a theory that the planet is shrinking, contracting in on itself as its core slowly freezes.

But the theory is based on images from NASA's Mariner 10 mission in the 1970s that show randomly strewn scarps across half of Mercury, where the surface appears to have buckled from within.

The idea that Mercury's surface was somehow shrinking arose when Mariner 10 returned images of great scarps biting deep into the planet's surface..."

Hurry up, MESSENGER!  :up:

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#29 2004-08-30 11:39:35

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mercury-04m.html]Only 2300 days until orbit!  sad

*MESSENGER doing fine.  They've checked its communications system as well as low- and medium-gain antennae.  This week they'll check out its control and guidance systems, and then move on to some of the science instruments aboard.

Its first trajectory correction maneuver "is" tentatively scheduled for August 24 (this article was posted 2 days after the fact, on the 26th?!  Seems folks in charge of the astronomy web sites lately are nodding off or something, grumble, grumble, rant -- and I've not seen a similar article posted elsewhere.  And I check this web site every day -- they couldn't have posted it on the 26th; I'd have seen it then.  They're fudging).  Anywho, MESSENGER will return to Earth vicinity for a "gravity-assisted flyby next Summer."

::sigh::  Hurry up!

--Cindy  smile


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#30 2004-09-28 07:14:56

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.mercurytoday.com/news/viewsr … ]MESSENGER update  smile

*Things going splendidly. 

"MESSENGER marked its 52nd day of flight operations with a burst from its thrusters, completing a maneuver on Sept. 24 that kept it on course for next summer’s Earth flyby."

MESSENGER is currently more than 11.5 million miles from Earth and is traveling at a speed of 62,319 mph. 

"The short maneuver was a long-distance tap on the brakes, reducing MESSENGER’s velocity by about 10 miles an hour (4.6 meters per second) relative to the Sun...is currently flying with its sunshade away from the Sun, allowing it to keep its instruments and systems warm without using power for heaters."

:up:

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#31 2004-11-10 14:29:56

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,353

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

Well with all the talk about the Boeing and Northrop venture for CEV, I happen on a release for the guidance system for the probe. Seems like they do a good job for what they are charging for the work done.
Northrop Grumman Guidance System Keeps MESSENGER On Course to Mercury

Keep going Messenger, We are all waiting for our first glimpse of the planet Mercury.

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#32 2004-11-22 06:56:51

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.htm … 572]Update  :up:

MESSENGER is now 22.8 million miles from Earth; however, it will fly by Earth in August 2005.  Just completed 3rd trajectory correction maneuver since its launch, which is also the last TCM of 2004.  Was a 48-second thruster "burst" which slowed the craft by 7 mph and helped tweak its course.  Is currently cruising along at 62,030 mph.

Looking good.  smile

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#33 2004-12-10 10:56:39

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.mercurytoday.com/news/viewsr … nteresting stuff...

*Another update.  It's approximately 98.6 million miles from Sol and 25.7 million miles from us.  There have been 18,682 on-board computer commands since launch, by mission operators.  Team is decreasing tracking time to three 8-hour sessions a week from six 8-hour sessions. 

-also-

the operations team switched from commanding the spacecraft in real time to using command sequences stored in MESSENGER's onboard computer.

Science and engineering team members are analyzing results from the first Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) instrument calibration test since launch. On Nov. 29, the spacecraft was tilted 27 degrees so the camera could image sunlight reflected off a target inside the payload attachment fitting, which surrounds MDIS and three other instruments on MESSENGER's underside.

 

:up:  Going great. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#34 2004-12-10 11:37:31

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,353

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

Good to here the mission is on track.
How much of a cost savings to the reduced time spent tracking the unit, hum... I wonder?

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#35 2004-12-23 07:47:49

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.mercurytoday.com/news/viewsr … =14859]Now flip it!  Flip it good!

*Sorry DEVO.  tongue

I think it's interesting to see what goes on in the "in between" times of missions like this one.  They've conducted a peak power test a few weeks before MESSENGER reached maximum distance from the Sun, in mid-September,"which determines exactly how much power MESSENGER's solar arrays can produce at a given time and position. Spacecraft team members use these data to refine their thermal and power models..."

Etc. 

They plan to conduct additional tests before MESSENGER "flips" to turn its sunshade toward the Sun next March and before it swings past Earth next August.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#36 2005-01-18 12:31:13

Yang Liwei Rocket
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Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

hope this one works out, could be a very good mission  :up:


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#37 2005-01-25 06:56:38

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

hope this one works out, could be a very good mission  :up:

*Hi YL Rocket:  Yep.

Two updates:

http://www.mercurytoday.com/news/viewsr … =15049]Key events in 2005

On February 5 it'll be farthest from Earth yet, but will return towards us for a gravity-assist flyby in August.

On March 30 MESSENGER will be "flipped," with its sunshade pointed towards Sol for the 1st time.  Mentions 1st Venus flyby in October 2006.

:-edit-: 

Deep Space Maneuvering: MESSENGER conducts **its first deep space maneuver** (DSM-1) on December 13, firing its large bipropellant thruster for the first time. DSM-1 is the first of five such maneuvers planned for MESSENGER's cruise, designed (with the planetary flybys) to help the spacecraft reach Mercury orbit.

http://www.mercurytoday.com/news/viewsr … 15138]Most recent news (Jan 17)

MESSENGER is approximately 94.4 million miles from Sol and 30.2 million miles from us.  Camera check and radiometric calibration of MDIS.

Is interesting, being able to peek behind the curtain so to speak and get these glimpses of what the scientists are doing "behind the scenes."  :up:

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#38 2005-02-12 07:32:49

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.mercurytoday.com/news/viewsr … ]MESSENGER is one hot probe

*...in more ways than one, LOL.  Lots of interesting updates about -- or related to -- MESSENGER.  On Feb 5 it was 30.74 million miles from Earth, a "historic point" called "local max"; it's the furthest out the probe has yet traveled, but is swinging back our way for an August 2 gravity-assisted flyby. 

A flip has been scheduled; was originally slated for March 30 but they're going to do that sooner -- March 8. 

to this point the spacecraft had been flying with its shade pointed away from the Sun, letting sunlight warm its electronics while providing power to the spacecraft. The decision was made to flip the orbiter sooner when the team saw temperatures rising on the Neutron Spectrometer sensor of the Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer instrument.

A paper on MESSENGER's "innovative phased-array antenna" was awareded Best Paper by the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA).

Last but not least:  MESSENGER on TV game show "Jeopardy!"  smile

Jeopardy Winner: What Is Mercury?

We thought it would take at least one Mercury flyby before the mission would gain pop icon status - but just six months after launch, there was MESSENGER in the final round of the game show Jeopardy! Anne Shivers from Peotone, Illinois, won a semifinal game of the show's 2005 Teen Tournament on Feb. 2 by coming up with the correct question to the Final Jeopardy answer: "Launched in 2004, a spacecraft named MESSENGER is on a mission to study this planet."

Terrific. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#39 2005-02-16 09:36:17

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

some pics of the work they were doing on this project

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/the_mission … tures.html

data on the craft and image  of the MercuryDualImagingSystem (MDIS), the
Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS) & Magnetometer (MAG) ....

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/messe … index.html

smile


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#40 2005-02-16 10:12:27

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

*...and it's cute, too!  LOL.

Nice going back over the details.  These, again, are especially attention-getting IMO:

The GRNS: 

It will be used to map the relative abundances of different elements and will help to determine if there is ice at Mercury's poles, which are never exposed to direct sunlight.

Weird to think again that -neither- pole is exposed to direct sunlight. 

The MLA for topography: 

This instrument contains a laser that will send light to the planet's surface and a sensor that will gather the light after it has been reflected from the surface. Together they will measure the amount of time for light to make a round-trip to the surface and back

And the Radio Science. 

We have the Venus flyby next year too. 

The folks in charge of the MESSENGER homepage are doing a splendid job of keeping us informed.  Considering the destination is still years away, the ride is enjoyable nonetheless.

--Cindy

P.S.:  The other pics you posted via the link are great too.  Would love to be a scientist wearing those surgical scrubs (well -- looks like scrubs anyway), working on the probe -- having the satisfaction of making sure baby is okay and ready for launch, etc.  What wonderful machines and the unparalleled discoveries they bring us.  smile


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#41 2005-02-17 09:53:07

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
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Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.mercurytoday.com/news/viewsr … 468]Status report for Feb 14

*Wasn't expecting another update so soon.  They calibrated the XRS (X-Ray Spectometer) last week.  For 5 days it was focused on Cassiopeia A, which is a supernova remnant, as part of "background rejection" -- eliminating background signals from x-ray measurements.

"Background rejection is important because it improves the signal-to-background ratio, thereby increasing the sensitivity of the XRS measurements," says Richard Starr, XRS instrument lead scientist, from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. "We expect this observation of Cas-A to provide more reliable data than ground measurements on how well the background rejection is working."

They'll be busy analyzing this test data over the upcoming weeks, and plan to "observe" Cas-A again en route to Mercury. 

Also performed 2 days of maintenance operations on the MASCS.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#42 2005-02-20 09:31:04

Yang Liwei Rocket
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Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

very good update

they covered the story in spacedaily also

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/supernov … a-05b.html


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#43 2005-02-20 22:42:10

GregM
Banned
Registered: 2005-01-16
Posts: 30

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

Keep going Messenger, We are all waiting for our first glimpse of the planet Mercury.

Actually, there are lots of first glimpses already available, courtesy of Mariner 10 in the 1970's. Have fun and take a look!

http://cps.earth.northwestern.edu/M10/i … chive.html

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#44 2005-03-01 08:49:13

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

Keep going Messenger, We are all waiting for our first glimpse of the planet Mercury.

Actually, there are lots of first glimpses already available, courtesy of Mariner 10 in the 1970's. Have fun and take a look!

http://cps.earth.northwestern.edu/M10/i … chive.html

nice info on that site  :;):


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#45 2005-03-04 12:55:09

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.mercurytoday.com/news/viewsr … 651]Update on MESSENGER

*March 8th flip will go as planned; its sunshade will then be pointed towards Sol.  After the flip they'll "deploy the boom for the Magnetometer instrument."

Antennas (guess it's not "antennae" anymore?) on the back of the craft are being used to communicate with Earth.

There's this seemingly misleading comment (if you haven't followed the news):

On Feb. 15, after six months and 12 days in space, MESSENGER reached the 300-million-mile mark (about 483 million kilometers) in its travels around the Sun. Only 4.6 billion miles - roughly 7.4 billion kilometers - to go before reaching orbit around Mercury!

Um, yeah...but before that MESSENGER will swing past the Earth again.  Maybe I'm misreading that paragraph somehow.

Is zipping along at 69,266 mph.  Everything's A-OK. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#46 2005-03-09 05:17:26

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
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Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n050 … gnetometer boom deployed

*All went well.  :up:  The "flip" went as planned too. 

the spacecraft tilted its solar panels away from the Sun, used its momentum wheels to flip 180 degrees, then tilted its solar panels back toward the Sun. The nine-minute maneuver, designed to keep MESSENGER operating at safe temperatures as it moves closer to the Sun, wrapped up at 11:47 a.m. EST.

About an hour later, the middle hinge of the two-section boom holding the Magnetometer instrument deployed, followed 30 minutes later by the second hinge that connects the 3.6-meter (about 12-foot) boom to the spacecraft.

Says MESSENGER is doing great.  Is 29.2 million miles from Earth, traveling at 69,826 miles per hour.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#47 2005-03-21 03:27:34

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n050 … gnetometer boom deployed

*All went well.  :up:  The "flip" went as planned too.

very good  big_smile


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#48 2005-03-23 11:42:40

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,353

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

'U' sets sights on a return to Mercury with NASA probe

MESSENGER, which stands for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging, will be the first spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury and study the planet in detail.

Mercury, the Earth’s neighbor closest to the sun, basks in sunlight 11 times greater than that on Earth, scorching the planet with temperatures reaching 840 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet observations of Mercury show that it is home to ice. Also mysterious is Mercury’s extremely high density, unmatched by Venus, Earth and Mars. 65 percent of Mercury’s mass is in its metallic core – a core twice the size of Earth’s. In addition, planetary magnetic fields have only ever been explained as the result of an active liquid interior. With its solid core, Mercury should not have a magnetic field – but it does.

The Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) instrument is amoung university built items that will be used to steady and measure the activity of charged particles in Mercury’s environment.

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#49 2005-04-21 08:47:10

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,353

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

Messenger Out Of The Bottle

I found it unique that the probes flyby are to view the planets also with the same set of instruments as part of a workout and calibration of them. But that it is not to start a yearlong study of its target Mercury in March 2011. ???

This would make me wonder if it would also make its way into the chopping block of the bean counters since nothing of study to mercury will be done until 2011. sad

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#50 2005-04-27 04:59:03

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: MESSENGER - Mercury Orbiter

*Finally...

http://www.mercurytoday.com/news/viewsr … 6357]...an update about MESSENGER

I'd wondered if the folks who write the updates had fallen off the edge of the Earth or something.  :-\

Lots of checks and testing.  On April 15, the solar wind was observed for an hour by an instrument called FIPS.  During that time, techs kept watch on M's temp, power levels around the rear antenna and propellant tanks.

Everything's fine with M, yay!  big_smile

It's currently aprox 85.9 million miles from Sol and 23.1 million miles from us.  Currently it takes 2 minutes, 4 seconds for a signal from Earth to reach it.  Travel speed is 71,869 mph.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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