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2024 - ACE


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This is to be ACE's last year in service, due to the depletion of propellant fuel - necessary to maintain stable orbit in lieu of perturbations.

https://izw1.caltech.edu/ACE/ace_mission.html

the tl;dr is that this satellite has done more than anyone bargained for, and I am forever grateful to the design team, the operators, and NASA. It's presently unknown what the status of the satellite is, as caltech stopped updating the public in 2017... If anyone has inside information, please share. Otherwise, I'm ready for the end of this glorious adventure in the near-cosmos. I await the deployment of its replacement, yet to be announced as well.

Side note: It is frustrating when a university or some operator faculty decides to ghost the public. 2017 was seven years ago. I don't know why the team at Caltech have been utterly quiet, so I am here to both sing praise and call attention to the projected end-of-life set to occur in the near future. I hope the rest of you have appreciated the power of engineering at one point or another, in the face of ACE's mission.

Edited by Christopher Shriver
redundant verb
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4 hours ago, Christopher Shriver said:

I await the deployment of its replacement, yet to be announced as well.

If I'm not mistaken, SWFO-L1 (possibly just a preliminary name) is considered to be next in line to both replace ACE and to provide an upgrade on DSCOVR and SOHO too, with both Solar wind and magnetic field measurement instruments like the former two and a coronagraph like the latter:

Quote

The Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) is expected to consume its remaining propellant around 2024. Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), NOAA's primary solar wind monitor, was launched in 2015 with a five year design lifetime. The European Space Agency-NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) will cease operation before the mid-2020s. SWFO-L1's SWIS instruments will replace ACE's and DSCOVR's monitoring of solar wind, energetic particles and the interplanetary magnetic field while CCOR will replace SOHO's LASCO (Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph) imaging of CMEs.

It's scheduled to be launched next year, although delays can and do happen when it comes to satellite launches, so I guess we'll see. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Philalethes said:

If I'm not mistaken, SWFO-L1 (possibly just a preliminary name) is considered to be next in line to both replace ACE and to provide an upgrade on DSCOVR and SOHO too, with both Solar wind and magnetic field measurement instruments like the former two and a coronagraph like the latter:

It's scheduled to be launched next year, although delays can and do happen when it comes to satellite launches, so I guess we'll see. 

News to me - Could you link any source to that? You're quoting ACE's mission from caltech, so I'm dubious of whatever it is you're talking about.

I don't want this to turn into an argument, but I'm about to. This is supposed to be an appreciation post, not a speculative one. I feel the spirit is ruined.

Edited by Christopher Shriver
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1 hour ago, Christopher Shriver said:

News to me - Could you link any source to that? You're quoting ACE's mission from caltech, so I'm dubious of whatever it is you're talking about.

Maybe it wasn't clear, but there's a hyperlink on the name "SWFO-L1" (short for Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1), linked here again for reference; I was quoting from that article, which is why it mentions what it does about ACE, DSCOVR, and SOHO. Here you can see an original NASA article from 2020 about it; as you can see it was then planned to launch in 2024, but delays are very common when it comes to satellite launches as far as I'm aware (ESA's Vigil was also originally planned for mid-2020s, but is now scheduled for 2029, and will probably not end up launching until the 2030s with additional delays). Currently it's set to launch in December of 2025.

Wasn't really intended as anything speculative or any argument, was just providing some information about what's planned to replace/upgrade those measurements from those satellites. It's been in the works for a good while already, and I believe I've briefly mentioned it a few times in the past here as well in similar topics.

It was certainly not to take away from the appreciation of ACE at all, I think it's safe to say we're all really grateful for how much ACE has accomplished beyond its original mission statement, and that it has definitely earned its retirement.

Edited by Philalethes
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3 minutes ago, Philalethes said:

Maybe it wasn't clear, but the there's a hyperlink on the name "SWFO-L1" (short for Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1), linked here again for reference; I was quoting from that article, which is why it mentions what it does about ACE, DSCOVR, and SOHO. Here you can see an original NASA article from 2020 about it; as you can see it was then planned to launch in 2024, but delays are very common when it comes to satellite launches as far as I'm aware (ESA's Vigil was also originally planned for mid-2020s, but is now scheduled for 2029, and will probably not end up launching until the 2030s with additional delays). Currently it's set to launch in December of 2025.

Wasn't really intended as anything speculative or any argument, was just providing some information about what's planned to replace/upgrade those measurements from those satellites. It's been in the works for a good while already, and I believe I've briefly mentioned a few times in the past here as well in similar topics.

It was certainly not to take away from the appreciation of ACE at all, I think it's safe to say we're all really grateful for how much ACE has accomplished beyond its original mission statement, and that it has definitely earned its retirement.

The hyperlink wasn't appearing. Apologies; I assumed hearsay was the only thing to go off of. I've been agitated lately with a lack of transparency in regards to information integrity, and that leaked out here. A lot has happened in the past 48 hours. No hard feelings were meant, and I may have misinterpreted the spirit of your comment.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 4/15/2024 at 12:48 AM, Christopher Shriver said:

This is to be ACE's last year in service, due to the depletion of propellant fuel

Are we sure about this? This 2023 July 26th or 27th SAP presentation document on the NOAA website has on page 8, a chart which seems to show ACE outlasting DSCOVR halfway into 2026, though I could be misinterpreting the dashed part of the bars,

https://sab.noaa.gov/wp-content/uploads/SAB_MtgPres_Jul2023_Space-Weather.pdf

linked from https://sab.noaa.gov/past-meetings/past-meeting-documents/#July2023 under the "Sustaining Operational Capabilities to Meet NOAA's Space Weather Mission" heading.

Also interesting to note that neither DISCOVR nor SWFO-L1 have energetic particles monitoring instruments, so that data at L1 may simply be lost when ACE dies.

Edited by AbstractConcept
weird formatting fix
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