STARDUST Status Report
December 19, 1997
STARDUST Project Manager
- The Navigation Camera's Interface Test made significant progress this
week. Pictures were taken and images retrieved from the packets after
passing through the end-to-end (uplink and downlink) ground data
system. This activity represents a key element of the pre-ATLO
(Assembly, Test and Launch Operations) concurrent engineering tests.
Software, hardware, and ground operations were all involved.
- Excellent progress this week on the testing of the Sample Return
Capsule's separation & spin-up mechanism.
- The Aerogel Team completed a status review of the recovery plan
revalidating the production process is in-place and well-understood.
Variations were put under change control dates for delivery of the qual
unit and the protoflight were confirmed.
- A 3 DOF (degrees of freedom) analysis of the entry trajectory with the
Sample Return Capsule ballasted to 44 kg shows that there will be no
problem with the timer. The main chute will deploy at about 11,000 ft
instead of 10,000 ft resulting in 0.4 km increase in the footprint. The
drogue chute will deploy at MACH 1.41 vs. 1.40.
- A resolution of the leakage on the inertial measurement unit is being
pursued aggressively at Honeywell and Lockheed-Martin. Options under
study include ways to achieve the 7 year life with a pressurized and
sealed can and investigation of venting and operating at vacuum either
right away or after the first maneuvers.
- There will be no report next 2 Fridays --- the day after Christmas and
the day after New Years Day. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to
everyone from the entire STARDUST Team!!! We look forward to
communicating our progress as the full system assembly and test phase
begins in January.
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