STARDUST Status Report
January 9, 1998
Happy New Year!
STARDUST Project Manager
STARDUST officially started the Assembly Test and Launch Operations (ATLO)
phase on January 6, 1998 as planned. Work is progressing on the camera for
bringing images of the Assembly Activities at Lockheed-Martin in Denver to the
Website. Expect a couple of weeks.
The End-to-End NavCam interface and software testing was completed in the
Spacecraft Test Lab (STL) at Lockheed-Martin Astronautics (LMA). This
activity represents a key element of the pre-ATLO concurrent engineering tests.
Software, hardware, and ground operations were all involved. Images were
successfully transmitted through the Ground Data System to JPL.
The Sample Return Capsule (SRC) Sep/Spin Mechanism functionals and thermal
vacuum (including firing the cable cutter at ambient and at low temperature
in Thermal Vac) and random vibration testing were successfully completed.
The Sample Return Capsule (SRC) flight unit also was sent the the centrifuge
this week to begin load testing.
The aerogel qualification grid (matrix of 3 cells X 5 cells) was delivered
to LMA and shock tested. This unit was shocked three times at 200 g's. Only
minor damage was noted. The qualification tests are done at levels much
higher than the actual flight unit will experience. This is necessary to
ensure designs are sound.
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample
return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: