STARDUST Status Report
February 6, 1998
STARDUST Project Manager
Today (February 6) marks 365 days to Launch! The system assembly and
test activities (aka "ATLO") continue to move very well at Lockheed-Martin's
Astronautics Co. in Denver. The Key this week was the installation of the
Power Control Assembly (PCA) ATLO Test Unit (ATU) on the spacecraft for
electrical power and continuity (EP&C) testing. This testing will begin
the process of insuring that the "blood and nervous systems" of
the spacecraft, power and data , are in place and working well. The spacecraft
was powered-on at 9 am February 5, 1998. EP&C tests were completed and
command & telemetry interface testing has been initiated.
Major Event: The Drop Test of the Structural Thermal Model Sample Return
Capsule (SRC) was successfully completed February 5, 1998. This test occurred
at the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) of the USAF Air Combat Command
near Salt Lake City. The drop, from a balloon gondola, began at about 13,000
feet on the drogue parachute. The barometric switches triggered the main
parachute on-cue at 10,000 ft., the radar reflector was easily picked up
and tracked. Telescopes were also used to observe and film the SRC descent.
The landing was extremely "soft." Congratulations to the "Heroes
of the 'Salt Flats'."
Excellent progress was also made this week on several other activities:
* Operations: The Launch and Solar Array deploy command block was delivered
to JPL for inclusion in sequence generation (SEQGEN) software. Table top
review of the Flight Rules was completed. The Command Dictionary was updated.
The flyby targeting process update was completed incorporating the updated
Comet Wild-2 dust model.
* Navigation Camera: All of the power supplies for the flight unit were
delivered this week!! This has been a key critical path item on the delivery
'Til next week.........
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/