STARDUST Status Report
January 23, 1998
STARDUST Project Manager
The Structural Thermal Model Sample Return Capsule shock test was competed
and it is being configured for the drop test (10,000 ft from balloon) early
The flight C&DH (Command & Data Handling subsystem) completed
the thermal vacuum testing and is now in thermal cycling through the weekend.
Low Gain Antennas were delivered to System Assembly and Test Process
The propulsion subsystem functional test has been completed.
Resolution of Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) problems (leakage and Y
axis noise) continues to be top priority at Honeywell and Lockheed-Martin.
Weld verification is in progress and an aluminum valve body and soft cap
seal are being fabricated for test next week. Alternatives to the baseline
viton lid seal are still being investigated.
The star camera protoflight unit was successfully shock tested at JPL
with the existing three-point support. This success effectively removes
further potential roadblocks to moving to flight unit production. Light
at the end of the tunnel.....no more opposing "trains."
Interface testing on the Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA)
Engineering Model (EM) was completed in the Spacecraft Test Lab (STL). Commands
were sent and received and data was transferred from CIDA . However, there
was a problem with the interface card (PACI) "hanging" and requiring
re-set. The cause is under investigation. A physical fit check was conducted
(both the sensor and the EM) and found to be satisfactory. The sensor, electronics
and wrapped cable were weighed and indications are that it is less than
the predicted. Good News! This testing represents a significant milestone
in getting interface testing done in an "end-to-end" environment
on all the active science elements of the mission: Dust Flux Monitor, NavCam
and, now, CIDA.
Qual solar array deploy and retract ("walk-out") tests were
completed with and without springs.
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample
return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/