STARDUST Status Report
January 16, 1998
STARDUST Project Manager
Hi Stardusters! ....... Here's our report from the bridge for this week.
Assembly Test and Launch Operations phase activity begin ramping up this
week with panels arriving in the high-bay area at Lockheed-Martin. We are
still in the process of final security approval at Lockheed-Martin before
images of the assembly area will start being posted on this website. We
expect this to be resolved very soon. So keep watching. I know this sounds a
bit like waiting for the weather forecast on the 10 pm news, but we are
working the problem and we will succeed.
The Flight Sample Return Capsule successfully completed centrifuge loads
testing. This is an important milestone and signals its availablity to start
loading the flight electronics, etc.
The Cometary & Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) Engineering Model
(Remember, this is one of our instruments to find out what Stardust really
is.) has been delivered, bench tested by the CIDA team and cabled up in the
Spacecraft Test Lab (STL) for interface testing which is just getting
underway. This testing will allow us to test the electronic interfaces
between this instrument and the spacecraft's data system. We want to take
simulated impact data from the sensor and flow-it all the way through the
flight and ground systems to a scientific display station. We'll then be
sure CIDA can "phone home" from the comet. Success in this test will clear
the way for our German colleagues to complete the fabrication of the actual
Outreach: a STARDUST Fellowship opportunity for teachers was announced and
posted on the website under Education, What's New, and on the home page.
This excellent opportunity is sponsored through the Challenger Center, one
of three education partners. If you're a teacher....go for it!
Outreach: The first microchip containing thousands of names collected during
the fall; letters from the target comet, Wild -2, discoverer Paul Wild, from
the Principal Investigator and others; along with photos of the development
teams was delivered to Lockheed-Martin for installation in the Sample Return
Capsule. Because of the significant interest by the public in this
opportunity, a second chip is being planned. So once again.....stay
tuned....if you or any of your friends missed the first opportunity. It's
amazing to see a small chip the size of your little fingernail contining
such a huge amount of information. Look for its picture elswhere on the
See you next week!
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample
return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: