Peter 'Happy' Thomas (happypete) wrote,
Peter 'Happy' Thomas
happypete

More sad space news

After a mission that exceeded it's three year "design lifetime" by eleven years, the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS) was officially decommissioned on 14 December 2005, after a final "burn-to-depletion" orbit lowering burn and the "passivation" of onboard systems.

UARS was launched by Shuttle in September, 1991. In August it suffered a shorted cell in Battery 2, one of the two operational batteries. A shorted cell meant that they could only partially charge the batteries without dangerously heating the electrolyte--a condition that could result in the formation of hydrogen gas. This was a pre-defined event that triggered the "end of mission." UARS could no longer collect enough data, from enough instruments to justify the expense of maintaining the satellite. Other, newer earth-observing systems are "taking up the slack," but those of us who worked on UARS will miss her. That bird kept on flying, kept on delivering the goods.

It was my great privilege to serve as a UARS satellite systems enginer from March 1998 to March 1999. Although I'm again supporting an important, "24-7," mission-critical system, I'm not sure anything can take the place of being responsible for the "care and feeding" of an operational satellite system.
Subscribe

  • Farewell

    photognome died of heart failure yesterday. I don't have words right now.

  • My tweets

    Tue, 11:00: Pulling a full 250 KW and over 1,000 miles per hour charge rate at the new Reston teslamotors #SuperCharger. @ Wieh……

  • My tweets

    Fri, 19:57: Mixed meat meatballs, sauteed vegetables, loaded mashed potatoes with da_valentine and friends @ Corolla, North Car……

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments