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STARDUST Status Report

April 10, 1998

Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

Activity continued to increase related to assembly of the flight system. The Flight Cometary & Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) was delivered by the team from Germany's Max Planck Institute. Initial setups and checkouts were completed demonstrating the instrument's capability to transmit examples of the kind of data it will collect in flight. Some very important progress was also made by the navigation camera team as they completed testing and calibration at JPL in preparation for next week's delivery to Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, Colorado. This camera will be used to provide pictures to the navigators as they make the final course corrections for the cometary flythrough. It will also be the instrument for taking the "up-close-and-personal" images of Comet Wild 2 as the spacecraft cruises some 150 miles (about 240 kilometers) above the now-unknown surface of the comet's nucleus. The team at Lockheed Martin Astronautics also completed some deployment testing on the spacecraft's solar array demonstrating how Stardust will "spread its wings" following launch and separation from the launch rocket. Finally, a test unit of the aerogel collector was reviewed in preparation for using it to test how we will keep it extremely clean during its installation and launch. It is partially loaded with examples of flight-quality aerogel. Photos of the collector, the dust analyzer instrument and navigation camera are available by clicking the "photogallery" button ( on the website.

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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