Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lewis Spacecraft Encounters Difficulties; Solar Arrays Unable To Generate Full Power

Date:
August 28, 1997
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
NASA's Earth-orbiting Lewis spacecraft has entered a spin that has disrupted the spacecraft's power- generating capability, raising the potential of the loss of the mission.

NASA's Earth-orbiting Lewis spacecraft has entered a spin that has disrupted the spacecraft's power-generating capability, raising the potential of the loss of the mission.

Lewis was launched successfully on Aug. 22 at 11:51 p.m. PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, aboard a Lockheed Martin Launch Vehicle (LMLV-1). Built by TRW Space & Electronics Group, Redondo Beach, CA, Lewis is part of NASA's Small Spacecraft Technology Initiative.

Initial operations and check-out of Lewis were proceeding satisfactorily until telemetry received at 6 a.m. EDT today (Aug. 26) at the mission's Chantilly, VA, control center indicated that the spacecraft was spinning at approximately two revolutions per minute. Preliminary indications are that excessive thruster firing had occurred on one side of the spacecraft, causing it to spin when it should be stable on all three axes.

The solar arrays on Lewis were unable to generate full power due to the spinning motion, and the batteries were discharged below operational levels. Four subsequent attempts to contact the spacecraft were unsuccessful.

"The excellent performance of the launch vehicle put Lewis into an optimal circular parking orbit that provides us with a minimum of three weeks to try to resolve this anomaly," said Samuel Venneri, Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "In addition, Lewis carries several autonomous systems onboard that raise the possibility that it can correct itself and recharge the batteries. NASA and TRW are working hard to assess and better understand the situation, in order to establish a recovery plan and try to resume the mission."

Outfitted with advanced technology Earth-imaging instruments and subsystems intended to push the state-of-the-art in scientific and commercial remote sensing, Lewis features remote sensing instruments designed to split up the spectrum of light energy reflected by Earth's land surfaces into as many as 384 distinct bands. Potential commercial applications include pollutant monitoring, analysis of endangered species habitats, estimation of forest and agricultural productivity, soil resources and crop residue mapping, and assessments of environmental impacts from energy pipelines.

The total cost to NASA of the Lewis mission, including its launch vehicle and one year of orbital operations, is $64.8 million. NASA incurred an additional cost of $6.2 million for storage and maintenance of the spacecraft during a one-year delay due to launch vehicle issues.

Lewis is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth enterprise, a long-term research program designed to study the Earth's land, oceans, air and life as a total system.

-end-


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Lewis Spacecraft Encounters Difficulties; Solar Arrays Unable To Generate Full Power." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970828002439.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (1997, August 28). Lewis Spacecraft Encounters Difficulties; Solar Arrays Unable To Generate Full Power. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970828002439.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Lewis Spacecraft Encounters Difficulties; Solar Arrays Unable To Generate Full Power." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970828002439.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The space shuttle Discovery launched for the very first time 30 years ago. Here's a look back at its legacy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) Researchers at Fermilab are using a device called "The Holometer" to test whether our universe is actually a 2-D hologram that just seems 3-D. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Newsy (Aug. 23, 2014) The private spaceflight company says it is preparing a thorough investigation into Friday's mishap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins