WIRE Lost as Hydrogen Supply Runs Out

Mon, 8 Mar 1999 18:16:15 EST

>    Ground controllers are slowly gaining control of NASA's Wide-Field
>    Infrared Explorer (WIRE), but the entire supply of frozen hydrogen
>    needed to cool its primary scientific instrument has been released 
>    into space, ending the scientific mission of the spacecraft.
...  [snip]
>    WIRE is now rotating about 250 degrees per second. The objective is
>    to reduce the spin rate sufficiently that the onboard system will 
>    take over and provide full attitude control

I'm not sure why they are continuing to try to bring the satellite under
control if they are declaring its mission lost.  I would presume it simply to
gain experience for future reference.  Anyone have any ideas on that?  

Here's a URL to the complete release:


Sorry about the previous note -- it got away from me (I didn't know you could
send an email off via AOL by accidently hitting the correct "Command -?" key

Jim Cook
Germantown, MD
39.2N, 77.3W