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STARDUST Status Report

December 12, 1997

Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

* The Sample Return Capsule Drop Test Readiness and Safety Review was held at the Utah Test & Training Range; no significant issues were identified. The test was rated as low risk and given verbal safety approval (formal approval in about two weeks). The Safety Review Board indicated that the review was the best and easiest they have had in years. The formal Drop Test is planned for the week of Feb 2, weather permitting.

* 18 drop tests of parachutes were completed in Idaho by the parachute supplier with the preliminary conclusion that a smaller chute (24.5 ft diameter) is adequate. This will also improve ballasting and mass margin.

* The flight Dust Flux Monitor was received this week at Lockheed Martin.

* The C&DH (Command & Data Handling) Engineering Development Unit (EDU) testing was completed and the EDU reinstalled in the STL (Spacecraft Test Laboratory at Lockheed-Martin in Denver).

* The Navigation Camera EDU was delivered, tested with its support equipment and testing in the Spacecraft Test Lab (STL) is underway.

* Mars Surveyor Ops Project (MSOP) completed the delivery of Ground Data System Version B6.0 1 a week early including Telemetry, Sequence, Command and TTACS (Test Telemetry and Command) upgrades to support the end-to-end testing of the Navigation Camera EDU during the next 2 weeks.

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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