WISE Mission Thread; Launched Dec 14

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MeteorWayne

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NASA'S WISE Spacecraft Ready for Launch Dec. 9 from California WASHINGTON -- The launch of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, aboard a Delta II rocket is scheduled to occur between 9:09 a.m. and 9:23 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 9, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. NASA will provide television and Internet coverage of prelaunch activities and launch.

After launch, WISE will scan the entire sky in infrared light with a sensitivity hundreds of times greater than ever before, picking up the glow of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images. The mission will uncover objects never seen before, including the coolest stars, the universe's most luminous galaxies and some of the darkest near-Earth asteroids and comets.

A prelaunch news conference on NASA Television will be held on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office. Reporters can ask from participating NASA centers. A WISE mission science briefing will immediately follow the prelaunch news conference. The briefings will be webcast at:


http://www.nasa.gov/ntv


On Dec. 9, NASA TV coverage of the countdown and launch will begin at 7 a.m. A WISE webcast with launch and mission principals is scheduled for noon on Dec. 8. To access WISE features, visit NASA's WISE Web site at:


http://www.nasa.gov/wise


Audio of the prelaunch news conference and the launch coverage will be available by dialing 321-867-1220/1240/1260. This is a listen-only audio system. Mission audio of countdown activities without NASA launch commentary will be carried on 321-867-7135 beginning at 6 a.m.

Launch coverage of WISE/Delta II countdown activities also will be available on the NASA Web site at:

http://www.nasa.gov

Live countdown coverage on NASA's launch blog begins at 7 a.m. Coverage features real-time updates of countdown milestones, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/home/ksc_blogs.html

Beginning Dec. 3, a WISE mission news center will be operational at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office. Reporters should call 805-605-3051 for launch information. Recorded status reports also will be available at that time by dialing 805-734-2693.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

The launch has been delayed until at least Dec 11 due to the delays in getting the other delta launch off until at least Saturday night.

So far, the News Conf is still scheduled for 4PM EST Monday, but that could change. I'll keep an eye on it.

MW
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

As I suspected might happen, the news conference has been postponed to the 9th at 4 PM EST.

The Launch is now scheduled for 9:09:33 AM EST Friday Dec 11th.
 
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HopDavid

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

MeteorWayne":ul2hqf8s said:
As I suspected might happen, the news conference has been postponed to the 9th at 4 PM EST.

The Launch is now scheduled for 9:09:33 AM EST Friday Dec 11th.
I've been looking forward to WISE for a long time. Sure hope they have a successful launch on Friday.
 
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Zipi

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Dec. 11 Delta 2 - WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer)

Launch window: 14:09:33-14:23:51 GMT (9:09:33-9:23:51 a.m. EST)
Launch site: SLC-2W, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.


The United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket will launch NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The satellite will observe the entire sky in mid-infrared wavelengths with greater sensitivity than ever before. The rocket will fly in the 7320 vehicle configuration with three solid rocket boosters and no third stage.



Wikipedia article about WISE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wide-field ... y_Explorer
NASA Mission Pages: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/main/index.html

Live coverage from NasaTV:
http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1369080 (Quality: 150k)
http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368162 (Quality: 300k)
http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368570 (Quality: 500k)
http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163 (Quality: 1200k)
These are direct stream links, so you might have to copy & paste these to your media player to make them work.
 
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HopDavid

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Will WISE be used to find asteroid albedo?

Asteroid size estimates seem to be based on absolute magnitude. Most of the pages I visit are careful to say the estimate is only a rough guess since an asteroid's albedo is not known.

Absorbed light heats an asteroid, correct? If WISE measures an asteroid's infra red emissions at the same time an ordinary scope measures reflected light, couldn't we determine how much light is being absorbed and how much is being reflected?

And if an asteroid's albedo is known, size estimates could be much more precise, it seems to me.

If I'm not mistaken, David Morrison has used this infra red + visual light technique for studying asteroids (although at the moment I can't find where I read this).

Are there plans to do this with WISE?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: Will WISE be used to find asteroid albedo?

I'm going to move this to the WISE Mission thread in M&L. Those questions will be addressed I'm sure in the WISE News Conference on NASA TV on Wednesday. Or at least they should be.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

At last report, the weather doesn't look too good for Friday morning at Vandenburg. Unfortunately, it's an El Nino winter...

However, it's only Monday, so we shall see.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

Tomorrows NASA TV schedule (times EST, =GMT- 5h)

4 p.m. - WISE Prelaunch News Conference - VAFB/KSC (All Channels)
5 p.m. - WISE Mission Science Briefing -VAFB/KSC (All Channels)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

WISE PreLaunch New Conf about to start on NASA TV....
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

Some notes from the WISE News Conferences

WISE has a 40 cm mirror, the IR sensor is cooled to -430F by liquid hydrogen, leading to a 10 month mission. During that time it will cover the whole sky twice taking over a million images. It's hundreds of times more sensitive than it's predecessor from the 80s, IRAS. It will take about 5100 images per day

Launches can be attempted for two days, then they must spend 2 days rechilling the LH before another 2 day window.

The weather for Friday and Saturday morning is just awful, with 80% no go. Things should improve early next week. As I said earlier, it's an El Nino winter :(

The launch vehicle is a Delta 2 73-20 with 3 SRB's that burn for 99 seconds. The first stage burns for about 4 minutes.
The second stage burns twice, first for 5:10, then 40 minutes later for 8 1/2 seconds.

Commissioning takes about a month. The scope cover is on for 16 days during spacecraft checkout, then opens with more calibration after that for about 2 more weeks. then the main mission starts.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

Liftoff of a Delta II rocket and its NASA payload, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has been delayed 24 hours. At the soonest, launch now will be Dec. 12 during a launch window that extends from 6:09:33 to 6:23:51 a.m. PST (9:09:33 to 9:23:51 a.m. EST).

The delay allows the launch team additional time to troubleshoot a technical issue. During final systems checks of the Delta II rocket Wednesday in preparation for flight, an anomaly in the motion of a booster steering engine was detected.

The weather forecast for Dec. 12 calls for thick clouds, disturbed weather and precipitation, resulting in an 80 percent chance of conditions preventing liftoff.

Launch and mission managers will discuss the weather and liftoff status during meetings today. Updates to the WISE mission status will be issued as new information becomes available.
 
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Testing

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

Saturday does not look good.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch Sched Dec 9

Saturday's weather is a moot point :)

The launch of NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission is now rescheduled for Dec. 14, with a launch window of 6:09-6:23 a.m. PST (9:09:33 - 9:23:51 a.m. EST). The first launch attempt scheduled for Dec. 11 was delayed due to an anomaly in the motion of a booster steering engine.

Mission managers have implemented a plan to completely resolve the anomaly. This plan includes removing and replacing a suspect component on Friday, Dec. 11 allowing the Delta II to be ready for Monday’s launch attempt. The current weather forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather during the launch window.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

I just checked, and so far the launch is scheduled for the early morning EST times listed above, shortly after 9 AM EST. I should be a complete vegetable by then after spending 6 hours watching the Geminids :)
 
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bdewoody

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

MeteorWayne":3g8aa5u0 said:
I just checked, and so far the launch is scheduled for the early morning EST times listed above, shortly after 9 AM EST. I should be a complete vegetable by then after spending 6 hours watching the Geminids :)
Is there any additional risk involved with launching during a meteor shower? I know we get hit everyday by small meteoroids but the activity is much greater during these events.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

No, not really. The maximum density will probably be on the order of maybe 200 particles per billion cubic km (a cube 1000 km on each edge), and that would be at the peak, right about now. That includes everything down to the size of creating magnitude +6.5 meteors, which would be much smaller than a grain of salt or sand, and the density of larger particles decreases rapidly as the size gets larger. By tomorrow morning it will be more like 60 such particles per billion cubic km.

Space is very big :)
 
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Zipi

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

WISE is scheduled to launch in 1h 25min. :)
 
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Zipi

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

First Youtube video from the launch:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhQNGHbqd54[/youtube]
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

Launch sucessful; here's an excerpt from the launch blog: (in reverse chronological order)

10:35 a.m. - Cooling Vents Open, WISE Stabilizes

The cooling vents on the WISE spacecraft have opened as planned. The telescope is extremely sensitive to any heat, so it has a carefully designed and calibrated cryostat loaded with solid hydrogen to keep it cool. The spacecraft has also stabilized itself and is pointing its solar panel correctly to power its onboard systems.

10:20 a.m. - JPL Operating WISE

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., is managing the WISE spacecraft now that it has separated from the Delta II rocket. Controllers there have picked up the signal from the WISE spacecraft.

10:05 a.m. - WISE Separation

WISE is flying on its own!

10:01 a.m. - Second Stage Burn Successful!
The Delta II second stage ignited and shut down on schedule. Next milestone: WISE separation in about 2 minutes.

9:59 a.m. - Hartebeesthoek Acquires Signal

A tracking station at Hartebeesthoek in South Africa has picked up the signals from the WISE spacecraft and its attached Delta II second stage engine on schedule. The second stage engine will reignite shortly. The burn and spacecraft separation is to take place as WISE is in touch with the South African ground station.

9:45 a.m. - Company in Space

WISE will not be the only infrared observatory in operation above Earth. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has been conducting very specific observations in infrared wavelengths since its launch in 2003. Europe and NASA cooperated on the Herschel Observatory, which was launched in May from French Guyana on an Ariane 5. Like Spitzer, it is designed to look closely at very small parts of the sky, whereas WISE is made to review all of space.

All systems on the WISE spacecraft remain in good condition. The next major milestone is the reignition of the second stage engine, scheduled to occur in about 15 minutes. The burn will last eight seconds. WISE will separate from the second stage soon after the burn ends.

9:30 a.m. - A Sensitive Spacecraft

Telemetry from the WISE spacecraft and the Delta II second stage report that all systems working fine. The infrared telescope remains attached to the Delta II’s second stage as the two coast together. In less than 30 minutes, the second stage engine will fire again to circularize the orbit of the WISE spacecraft before the two separate.

WISE is not the first infrared space telescope, but it is far more advanced than previous spacecraft. It's most direct ancestor is the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, IRAS, which orbited in 1983 to assemble the first all-sky survey in infrared. The IRAS spacecraft used detectors with a resolution of 62 pixels, the WISE will use detectors with a 1 million-pixel resolution. So, the WISE scan will be conducted with instruments hundreds of times more sensitive than those flown more than two decades ago.

9:20 a.m. - SECO!

The second stage engine shut down on schedule to put WISE in an orbit with a high point of 344 miles and a low point of 115 miles above Earth. The second stage still is attached to WISE and the two will coast together for about 40 minutes. Then the second stage engine will reignite for eight seconds, which is long enough to raise WISE's orbit. When the engine firing is complete, the second stage will separate from the infrared telescope, leaving it in a roughly circular orbit about 330 miles above Earth.

9:15 a.m. - Second Stage Burning

The first stage has burned out and the second stage has taken over. The payload fairing has separated from the rocket and WISE is exposed to space as it continues to rocket into orbit.

9:11 a.m. - Booster Sep!

Three solid-fueled boosters known as GEMs burned out and fell away from the Delta II as planned. The rocket continues to build up speed and is now moving at about 1,780 mph.

9:09 a.m. - LIFTOFF!

The Delta II cleared the launch tower and is heading southwest over the Pacific Ocean. "Searching for stars and galaxies never seen before!"

9:08 a.m. - One Minute to Launch!

WISE is one minute from beginning its flight into orbit.

9:05 a.m. - Countdown Resumes

The final phase of the countdown is under way and WISE is on schedule to climb into space with a liftoff at 9:09 a.m.

8:57 a.m. - "Go for Launch"

All members of the launch team report "go" for the first launch opportunity at 9:09 a.m.

8:55 a.m. - Last Built-in Hold

At T-4 minutes, the countdown for WISE has entered its final planned hold before launch. The hold will last for 10 minutes, and the launch team will give its final "go for launch" before resuming the countdown. All remains on schedule for a 9:09 a.m. liftoff from Vandenberg aboard a Delta II rocket. Forecasters are watching for unacceptable cumulus or thick cloud conditions. The rocket and spacecraft are in good shape.

8:44 a.m. – Countdown Resumes on Schedule

The countdown for the launch of the WISE spacecraft has picked up at the T-15 minute mark as scheduled. Forecasters still call for a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions at launch time, which remains at 9:09 a.m.
 
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bdewoody

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

Is WISE in a retrograde or polar orbit?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

"WISE will orbit Earth at an altitude of 525 kilometers (326 miles), circling Earth via the poles about 15 times a day. A scan mirror within the WISE instrument will stabilize the line of sight so that snapshots can be taken every 11 seconds over the entire sky. Each position on the sky will be imaged a minimum of eight times, and some areas near the poles will be imaged more than 1,000 times. "

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/ ... index.html

The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will scan the entire sky in infrared light, picking up the glow of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images. The mission will uncover objects never seen before, including the coolest stars, the universe's most luminous galaxies and some of the darkest near-Earth asteroids and comets. Its vast catalogs will help answer fundamental questions about the origins of planets, stars and galaxies, and provide a feast of data for astronomers to munch on for decades to come.
Thanks to next-generation technology, WISE's sensitivity is hundreds of times greater than its predecessor, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, which operated in 1983.

The mission's sensitive infrared telescope and detectors are kept chilled inside a Thermos-like tank of solid hydrogen, called a cryostat. This prevents WISE from picking up the heat, or infrared, signature of its own instrument. The solid hydrogen, called a cryogen, is expected to last about 10 months and will keep the WISE telescope a chilly 17 degrees Kelvin (minus 429 degrees Fahrenheit).

After a one-month checkout period, the infrared surveyor will spend six months mapping the whole sky. It will then begin a second scan to uncover even more objects and to look for any changes in the sky that might have occurred since the first survey. This second partial sky survey will end about three months later when the spacecraft's frozen-hydrogen cryogen runs out. Data from the mission will be released to the astronomical community in two stages: a preliminary release will take place six months after the end of the survey, or about 16 months after launch, and a final release is scheduled for 17 months after the end of the survey, or about 27 months after launch.
 
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Zipi

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

Here is the official Youtube video:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45NAENHol24[/youtube]
 
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Shpaget

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Re: WISE Mission Thread; Launch now Sched Dec 14

woot, a new telescope

MeteorWayne":28lgzyn6 said:
the WISE will use detectors with a 1 million-pixel resolution.
That doesn't sound that much. There are number of hand held cameras that exceed 30 megapixel resolution. What am I missing here?
 
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nimbus

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At least that it's better sensitivity.. Cleaner and more accurate pictures.
http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/documents/ ... 09_web.pdf

Wiki article says
WISE will survey the sky in four wavelengths of the infrared band at a very high sensitivity. Its detector arrays have sensitivity limits of 120, 160, 650, and 2600 µJy at 3.3, 4.7, 12, and 23 microns.[3] This is a factor of a thousand times better sensitivity than the survey completed in 1983 by the IRAS satellite in the 12 and 23 micron bands, and a factor of five hundred thousand times better than the 1990s survey by the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite
 
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