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STARDUST Status Report

April 24, 1998

Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

The spacecraft assembly effort this week was focused on completing most of the remaining power harness wrapping for protection in space, completing the Whipple cometary dust shields for the solar arrays, continuing preparations to install the flight solar arrays on the spacecraft, and interface testing of the power electronics and navigation camera.

Work also moved ahead on completing the installation of the Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) electronics and installation and checkout of the spacecraft's central computer.

We also completed some final testing on the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) indicating it is essentially complete and ready for mating with the carrier spacecraft. With the camera installation, all flight instrument electronics and the flight Dust Flux Monitor (DFM) are now on the flight spacecraft.

We also received the star cameras this week. These are used to determine the spacecraft's attitude in deep space. The team also performed some practice comet encounter simulations involving the CIDA and the navigation camera, with software simulations for the Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and the Dust Flux Monitor (DFM). Things are beginning to come together as a system.

The project delivered aerogel samples to the California Science Center in Los Angles on Thursday for an extended display in the museum's "Future Applications" area.

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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