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FUSE spacecraft resumes operations
Posted: Thu, Mar 7, 2002, 7:15 AM ET (1215 GMT)
FUSE spacecraft illustration NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) spacecraft has resumed scientific operations for the first time since it went into safe mode in December, NASA announced Wednesday. The spacecraft went into safe mode after two of its four reaction wheels, used to p the spacecraft, failed. Engineers were unable to get the wheels working again, but were able to use magnetic torquer rods on the spacecraft to point the spacecraft with the aid of the Earth's magnetic field. While the FUSE team is still fine-tuning the new system, it is currently precise enough to permit the spacecraft to lock onto guide stars and perform observations. FUSE was launched in June 1999 on a three-year primary mission, and NASA is planning to extend the mission for at least two more years.
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