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FUSE mission to end this month
Posted: Wed, Oct 10, 2007, 6:17 AM ET (1017 GMT)
FUSE spacecraft illustration An orbiting ultraviolet observatory will shut down later this month after more than eight years of observations, project officials announced this week. The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) spacecraft was launched into Earth orbit in 1999 on a mission to study everything from planets to distant galaxies at far ultraviolet wavelengths. the spacecraft has weathered a number of technical malfunctions that started in 2001 when two of its four momentum wheels, needed to point the spacecraft, failed. Engineers created modified control systems to allow the spacecraft to operate with two and, later, only one control wheel, but the last control wheel on the spacecraft failed in July and could not be restored. FUSE will be formally decommissioned on October 18 after engineers complete work to shut down the spacecraft.
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