RHESSI News Item

HESSI - Project Given Go Ahead

Dear HESSI'rs -
I am delighted to be able to say that the Goddard Program
Management Council was convinced by our team that the HESSI
mission is still viable and should be continued.

Key to its continuance, however, will be the selection of a
new flight cryocooler by no later than early September. If no
candidate cooler is available at that time, however, HESSI will
face another review by the GPMC.

Given the number of available candidate coolers and assuming
we concentrate our efforts on this problem, I am confident we
will be able to meet the challenge and continue forward.

Unfortunately, in order to gain the confidence of this rather
conservative group and the recent review committee, we had to
delay the launch to March 2001. They basically did not believe
that the spacecraft could be integrated and tested on the schedule
presented earlier, despite the fact that we had demonstrated our
commitment and ability to maintain the schedule without cutting
corners in the past.

On that last note, I'd like to once again state my appreciation
for the incredible efforts turned in by the HESSI team, to design,
build and test HESSI, build all the test equipment and develop all
the ground systems in under 2 years! In order to do this, I know
that the team had to work long hours and many weekends, and this
in turn took the support from many families. It was a marvelous
achievement which has been unfortunately overshadowed by the JPL
mishap. Considering the current attitude at NASA, it may never
again be attempted.

In any event, HESSI has been given the go ahead. Let's all wish
ourselves good luck. We deserve it.

- Peter Harvey