Don Savage Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1727

)

March 21, 1995

Jim Sahli Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (Phone: 301/286-8955) RELEASE: 95-33 NASA'S RESTRUCTURED FUSE PROGRAM COSTS LESS, FLIES EARLIER NASA has accepted a proposal from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, for restructuring the agency's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) mission from $254 million to $100 million in addition to launching the spacecraft two years earlier than originally planned. The change is part of an overall restructuring of the Explorer program directed by Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Science, Washington, DC. The FUSE mission changes from a Delta-class into a smaller class mission with launch scheduled for November 1998. "The FUSE principal investigator Dr. Moos and his team are to be congratulated for their accomplishment," said Huntress. "This very difficult effort, which the team succeeded in doing in a very short period of time, involved bringing down the size, complexity and cost of the mission while preserving its essential ultraviolet science. "Although the process was full of difficult and painful choices and increased the level of risk to the mission, the space physics and astrophysics communities ultimately will benefit because we will be able to start the new Medium Explorer (MIDEX) program and give them more frequent flight opportunities," Huntress said. The goal of the Explorer program restructuring was to

enable funding for more frequent MIDEX missions to be launched on a new medium-lite expendable launch vehicle, with development cost not to exceed $70 million (not including launch, mission operations and data analysis). "Under this restructuring, Dr. Moos will be accountable to NASA for mission success, taking full responsibility for all aspects of the mission including instrument and spacecraft definition, development, integration and testing," said David Mengers, FUSE Mission Manager at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. -more-2"Also included are the ground system, science operations, mission operations and data analysis. The principal investigator has maximum flexibility to conduct their investigations," said Mengers. The FUSE mission was designed to study the origin and evolution of the lightest elements -- hydrogen and deuterium -- created shortly after the Big Bang, and the forces and processes involved in the evolution of galaxies, stars and planetary systems. The far ultraviolet region of the spectrum can only be observed outside the Earth's atmosphere. Still under Phase B definition studies, formal NASA acceptance of the program for development occurs this Fall following reviews and acceptance by NASA and the project's international partners, Canada and France. The Explorer program is managed by the Explorer Project Office at the Goddard Space Flight Center for the Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. - end NASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to domo@hq.nasa.gov. In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type the words "subscribe pressrelease" (no quotes). The system will reply with a

confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. A second automatic message will include additional information on the service. Questions should be directed to (202) 358-4043.