STARDUST Status Report
March 27, 1998
STARDUST Project Manager
Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) activities: ATLO effort
focused on wrapping the harness, building/installing the main Whipple shield
and planning the Cometary & Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) keep-alive-power
converter installation. ("Keep-alive" power is wiring to insure
power remains available to the CIDA memory during any instrument resets/interruptions
so calibration data is not lost). The flight solar arrays were delivered.
Testing of the flight Sample Return Capsule (SRC) continued to go very
well. The SRC thermal vacuum test completed the cold testing of avionics,
heaters, capsule opening/closing and aerogel tray deployment/closing, the
hot case is progress and the test is expected to be completed this weekend.
A significant amount of testing (over 60 hours) was completed on the
redesigned field-programmable gate array (FPGA) interface to the Cometary
and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA).
An informal Technical Risk Review was conducted at Lockheed Martin Astronautics
in Denver, CO on 3/26 by the Mission Assurance Manager with key STARDUST
JPL and Lockheed Martin team members including the Principal Investigator,
Dr. Donald Brownlee of the University of Washington.
Aerogel: The team successfully demonstrated the capability for automated
aerogel tile insertion in the collector tray. This is a significant milestone
accomplishment on holding the 4/13 delivery schedule. The team also started
production of flight tiles this week.
The JPL Employee Recreation Club now has T-shirts and sweat shirts with
the STARDUST encounter at Wild-2 artwork. The sweatshirts sell for $16
and T-shirts cost $10. These items can be purchased in person, on-line
or by calling ERC at (818) 354-6120.
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/