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H.W. Moos (JHU), FUSE Science Team, FUSE Instrument & Operations Team
The Far Ultraviolet Explorer (FUSE), a NASA astronomy mission, is exploring the far-ultraviolet universe, 905 to 1187 Å, with high spectral resolution. The FUSE satellite was launched into a 765 km near circular orbit with 25\circ inclination on June 24, 1999. The instrument consists of four coaligned prime focus telescopes and Rowland spectrographs with microchannel detectors covering the spectral region. Two of the telescopes are coated with Al:LiF2 for optimum reflectivity over approximately 1000 to 1187 Å\ and the other two with SiC for optimized coverage over 905 to 1105 Å. The gratings are holographically ruled to largely correct for astigmatism and minimize scattered light. The photon counting microchannel plate detectors use KBr photocathodes to achieve good quantum efficiency with low background count. The sensitivity is sufficient to examine lines of sight throughout the Milky Way and to use active galactic nuclei as continuum sources for absorption line studies of extra-galactic gas clouds. Operations are expected to last 37 months. Approximately half of the time is available for Guest Investigators. The satellite uses no expendables and an extended mission is technically feasible. A brief summary of early science results will be presented.
FUSE is an Origins Mission. It is funded by NASA's Explorer Program in cooperation with the Canadian Space Agency and the Centre National d'Études Spatiales of France. FUSE was developed and is being operated for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Colorado. Financial support has been provided by NASA contract NAS5-32985.
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