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FASTSAT Mission Update
Artist rendition of FASTSat spacecraft › View larger
Artist concept of the FASTSAT spacecraft. Credit: NASA
GODDARD, MD: Over December and January, tests have continued on two of the three joint Goddard and Naval Academy science instruments onboard FASTSAT: the Plasma Impedance Spectrum Analyzer (PISA) and the Miniature Imager for Neutral Ionospheric Atoms and Magnetospheric Electrons (MINI-ME). Both are operating nominally and are beginning to collect data.

The third science instrument, the Thermosphere Temperature Imager (TTI), is scheduled for activation on February 1.

As of January 20, 2011, at 4:39 P.M. EST, MINI-ME achieved full science mode (i.e. it is running with the power inputs and other characteristics to which it was initially calibrated in the lab), and has been collecting science data since that time.

On January 24, 2011, PISA was turned on again for the first time since Dec 22 and everything appears nominal. The spacecraft attitude control is much improved, and the scientists hope to gather several days of data with PISA in the nominal orientation (previous PISA data were taken in a wide range of orientations while FASTSAT itself moved towards its ultimate orientation).

To learn more about all six experiments, visit the FASTSAT website

Susan Hendrix
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center