15 October 2004 The 8-year report on MSX thermal blanket outgassing: an inexhaustible reservoir
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Abstract
The Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) spacecraft has now been in orbit for over 8 years. The Total Pressure Sensor (TPS) has continually made measurements of the ambient and spacecraft induced environment since launch on April 24, 1996. The environment surrounding the satellite continues to be very dynamic. The magnitude of the solar induced pressure peaks has not decayed with time as would be expected. Even sole consideration of measured pressure versus duration of solar illumination does not illustrate long term decay. The TPS has continued to measure pressure variations of more than 2 orders of magnitude as the sun illuminates the blankets surrounding the instrument. The multi-layer thermal blankets appear to represent a large virtual source of water. The measured pressure is highly dependent upon the solar angle and the shadowing of surfaces by other structures. We will focus our attention on the results from an identical set of experiments conducted each year in July.
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Mark T. Boies, B. David Green, Gary E. Galica, O. Manuel Uy, Richard C. Benson, David M. Silver, Bobby E. Wood, Jeffrey C. Lesho, David F. Hall, James S. Dyer, "The 8-year report on MSX thermal blanket outgassing: an inexhaustible reservoir", Proc. SPIE 5526, Optical Systems Degradation, Contamination, and Stray Light: Effects, Measurements, and Control, (15 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.559968; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.559968
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