WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEEK ENDING 9 MARCH 2001:
PAYLOAD NEARLY READY FOR RETURN SHIPMENT TO STANFORD
Preparations are well underway for the return shipment of the Gravity Probe B Payload to Stanford. Post-Acoustic Test inspections and dewar helium level reductions are complete. The accelerometers and sunshade has been removed from the payload and the protective cover for the payload is in the process of being installed. The MPT arrived from VAFB. The plan is to ship the payload within the next several days.
Photo: LM Tech Steve van Keulen with the horizontal Gravity Probe B Payload outside the B/159 Acoustic Cell
UNCAGED GYROSCOPE PASSES GREATER THAN PROTOQUAL LEVEL LIFTOFF SHAKE TEST
An uncaged flight-like gyroscope successfully operated after being subjected to a 4 g sine sweep lasting 50 seconds. This environment simulates the liftoff load with greater than protoqual levels. The gyroscope performance tests included leviation, cavity exploration, and spindown rate measurements. This was the third test in a series of tests designed to determine if science gyroscopes can be safely launched uncaged. These three succcessful tests provide good evidence that we can launch the flight gyroscopes in an uncaged configuration. Work in this area is continuing to further increase our confidence.
Photo: Forward ECU Electronics.