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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

CSSWE Two Year Anniversary

September 14, 2014

On September 13, 2012, CSSWE was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base.  Two years later, CSSWE is still taking and returning science data.  Never could we have expected the spacecraft to last so long.  Because of the expected 4 month nominal mission lifetime, the onboard batteries are not designed to last 24 months.  In fact, they are commercial off-the-shelf batteries and cost less than $12 each.  Their state of charge is significantly degraded and CSSWE can only operate nominally (taking and returning science data) when the spacecraft’s orbit has a high percentage of insolation.  Despite this setback, the successes of CSSWE are exceptional in both the data returned and the operating lifetime.  Congratulations, and here’s to another two years!

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