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STARDUST Status Report

November 21, 1997

Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

The Readiness Review for moving formally to the Assembly, Test and Launch Operations (ATLO) phase of the development was completed this week. Chairman Frank Carr led the board through the 2 1/2 day agenda. The review objectives were to:

* Assess the Status of Flight Products To Be Delivered to ATLO
o Flight Hardware
o Flight Software

* Assess the Readiness of the Ground System to Support ATLO
o Ground Data System & Flight Operations System
o Electronic and Mechanical Ground Support Equipment
o Spacecraft Test Laboratory (STL)
o Ground Test Software

* Assess the Adequacy of the ATLO Schedule
o To Perform the Integration and Test Functions
o Is Schedule Margin Allocated Appropriately
o Assess Denver Facilities Availability and Readiness to Support ATLO

Summary Board Comments at the end of the Review gave solid affirmation of the readiness to proceed. The formal Board report will be provided shortly after Thanksgiving.

NASA Ames Research Center completed the arc jet testing of the heat shield model blocks of ablator material. These tests confirmed the flight worthiness of the heatshield. Preliminary analysis of the results also show that both spares are qualified, along with the already-installed flightunit.

Eglin AFB completed initial supersonic stability tests with sample return capsule models. All test cases of the first test model were stable.

A letter from Paul Wild (Comet Wild 2 Discoverer) was received to be placed on the microchip that will fly round trip to the Comet. His letter and info will be on the site soon. Also, if you haven't filled out the form to send your name along on the SRC (Sample Return Capsule).....get on board!! Just click on the words the web master has provided elsewhere on the site.

Best wishes from the STARDUST Team for a meaningful time of giving thanks next week. I specifically submit thanks for a country with the capability, courage and will to be sending machines like STARDUST into the unknown to learn more about who we are. It is indeed a great privilege for us to represent you in this great adventure.

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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