WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEEK ENDING 13 DECEMBER 2002:
COMPLETED SPACE VEHICLE THERMAL VACUUM TEST
The GP-B program has completed the space vehicle thermal vacuum test. One purpose of the test was to stress the vehicle by exposing it to the expected on-orbit hot and cold temperatures in a vacuum environment. In addition, a number of engineering tests were performed to allow refinement of the vehicle thermal model and to collect payload thermal sensitivity data. Correlation of the test data to the thermal model is in-work. Preliminary analysis of the payload thermal sensitivity data shows good margin for rejection of thermally generated bias errors. An anomaly associated with the B side of the attitude control electronics and an anomaly associated with achieving the cold steady-state environment are in-work. The test results indicate that the payload is ready for flight.
Photo: The spacecraft outside of the thermal vacuum chamber in the test area.
SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING
The eighth meeting of the Science Advisory Committee meeting for GP-B was held at Stanford. Discussions included a covariant calculation of the GR effects on orbiting gyroscopes, a hardware status update, a discussion of methods of verifying the GP-B science results, and a video conference with the Center for Astrophysics.