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Archive for 2002

16-Jan-02 | FAME program cancelled

According to the SSC Space Diary, 10-Jan-02, “NASA has cancelled the development of the Full-sky Astrometric Mapping Explorer (FAME) which was to have been launched in 2004 [aboard a Delta 7425] to measure stellar positions of more than 40 million stars. The agency does not have the confidence that the craft will meet its planned accuracy of less than 50 microarcseconds. FAME was selected as a MIDEX mission in 1999.” (Thanks to Gunter Krebs for the info.)

14-Jan-02 | Jason-1 calibration

Jason-1 has reached its operational orbit and has begun six months of instrument calibrations by flying in formation with the spacecraft it will eventually replace, TOPEX/Poseidon. Until the latter’s demise, the two spacecraft will be used in tandem to observe ocean currents with greater resolution than either could provide alone.

14-Jan-02 | Mars Odyssey aerobraking complete

2001 Mars Odyssey has successfully completed the aerobraking phase of its mission. During the past 2-1/2 months, Odyssey dipped into the atmosphere some 332 times, reducing the height of its apoapsis from 15,000 nautical miles to a mere 270 nm. A 244-second thruster burn on 11 January then raised its periapsis out of the atmosphere. Controllers will refine Odyssey’s orbit over the next few weeks before commencing science operations.

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