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STARDUST Status Report

January 23, 1998

Ken Atkins
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 next month.

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 (ATLO)

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 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:

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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