STARDUST Status Report
November 14, 1997
The HQ Quarterly Review with added Center (JPL) and industry reviewers was
held this week. Stardust Performance Management System (PMS) showed good
metrics on cost, schedule variances and earned-value for the project through
October. Reserves are adequate to cover all requirements that emerged from
the recent Phase C-D estimate-to-complete exercise.
STARDUST Project Manager
Good progress continues on the pre-ATLO (Assembly, Test and Launch
Operations Phase) test matrix centered around the Spacecraft Test Lab (STL)
at Lockheed-Martin. A metric milestone was reached at about 80% of the
matrix tests completed.
Pre-ATLO propulsion subsystem integration completed the installation of the
Rocket Engine Modules (REM's) on the flight structure's -z panel.
The flight heat shield was bonded to the forebody of the Sample Return
Capsule (SRC). This represents a significant success for the developers of
the high tech, low-mass ablator shield and opens the way for direct-entry
returns for STARDUST and other future interplanetary sample return missions.
Eglin AFB conducted the first supersonic stability checkout run with a
sample return capsule model. The full testing regimen is scheduled for next
Recall that recently we reported that the flight Dust Flux Monitor (DFM) was
tested in the STARDUST Mission Test System with data on particle "hits"
flowing all the way from the sensor through the telemetry system to the
science receiving station. This week that test data was transmitted to the
Planetary Data System completing a full end-to-end rehearsal of how the
actual flight data will be handled.
The Web Site added up-to-date photos of the flight hardware and some
engineering units this week. The STARDUST web site hit a peak of 42,995 hits
on November 11 , and has been averaging 14,800 hits/day for the week. The
42,995 hits was the highest total this year, no doubt due to the November
10th press release inviting the public to submit names to fly round trip to
the comet. As of November 13th, 103,000 names have been received
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample
return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: