Fwd = NOZOMI Succeeds in Earth Swingby
- Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
Originally from: Ron Baalke - Mars Exploration Program <info@...>
Original Subject: NOZOMI Succeeds in Earth Swingby
Original Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 17:51:33 -0600
========================== Forwarded message begins ======================
NOZOMI Succeeds in Earth Swingby
January 17, 2003
The Mars explorer NOZOMI launched on July 4, 1998, is now cruising in
interplanetary orbit, targeting the insertion to the Mars orbit at the end
of 2003. On December 21, 2002, the explorer came close to Earth and
successfully implemented the earth swingby. The time of its nearest
approach to Earth was at about 4:37 p.m. with a distance of approx. 30,000
km. This marked NOZOMI's return home after a long absence. At it's furthest
point, it was 360 million km away from Earth. Unfortunately, when NOZOMI
was approaching Earth, we were unable to see it from Japan. By this
swingby, the explorer deviated a little from the ecliptic plane and shifted
to the trajectory passing the north of Earth.
After encountering a large solar flare involving coronal mass ejections on
April 21, 2002, that damaged equipment and caused its power system to
malfunction, NOZOMI has been unable to send telemetry. Scientific
observation during the cruising phase was therefore cancelled. But the
ranging function for orbit determination and command receiving are normal.
In addition, by adopting an ingenious technique that makes use the NOZOMI's
onboard autonomous capability and substituting ON/OFF beacon radio waves
for telemetry, we are able to implement attitude and orbital control. At
present we are analyzing in detail the cause of the failure and searching
for countermeasures for recovery.
NOZOMI will execute the earth swingby again on June 19, 2003, and enter
into cruising orbit inside the ecliptic plane. At the end of this year, the
explorer will be ready to enter into the Mars orbit.
========================== Forwarded message ends ========================