STARDUST Status Report
April 24, 1998
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
The project delivered aerogel samples to the California Science Center
in Los Angles on Thursday for an extended display in the museum's "Future
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample
return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: