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STARDUST Status Report

October 31, 1997

Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager


Aerogel Production update: A successful production of aerogel blocks with flight density profiles was achieved this week. These units were extracted from quartz the current inventory of quartz molds. The yield on quality looked excellent. These units will be analyzed for shrinkage in the context of the required interface control requirements for the qualification trays.

The Star Camera protoflight unit was successfully functionally retested. The collimated light source alignment prior to environmental test is planned for today, October 31.

The Solar Array: The fix for shadowing issue noted last week will be addition of diodes to the panels. Testing is being scheduled at the Solar Array Center in Sunnyvale for Saturday, November 1, to provide the data to determine how many diodes are required.

The Spacecraft Test Lab & Power Lab Avionics Development Tests are 77% complete. Recent completions included Power Control Assembly EDU testing in Power Lab, and Software Integration of the Inertial measurement unit and Sun Sensor.

Sample Return Capsule Heat Shield: Machining the Preform #13 heatshield now; it is in-spec for preform density and final density. It will be completed next week and a pre-ship review and shipping are scheduled for Tuesday, November 4.

The inputs required for Boeing to perform the launch vehicle Preliminary Mission Analysis (PMA) were prepared. The mass properties include the new launch Maximum of 396 Kg. Stardust's current mass estimate + Predicted Growth + Full fuel tanks leaves adequate margin.

Outreach - An interview on Stardust was provided to Newsweek Magazine and should hit news stands next week.

For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page:

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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