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“Staying within the Box” on AIM (James Russell III)

The development of a satellite mission comes with many challenges even when everything develops as expected. Virtually always, however, the expected does not occur. Instrument sensitivities do not materialize as planned; pointing systems underperform; interactions among the payload, spacecraft, and the launch vehicle create vibration loads that threaten the integrity of the observatory; and looming cost overruns require compromises to be made in the hardware and science return. In order to develop and implement a robust mission, the unexpected should always be anticipated. Workaround approaches, design alternatives, team adjustments, and close attention to detail are essential in order to successfully implement a mission.

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