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STARDUST Status Report

January 9, 1998

Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

Happy New Year!

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:

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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