Skip Navigation: Avoid going through Home page links and jump straight to content
NASA Logo - Jet Propulsion Laboratory    + View the NASA Portal
Search Stardust  
JPL Home Earth Solar System Stars & Galaxies Technology
Stardust Banner
Overview Mission Science Technology Newsroom Education Gallery Links Stardust Home
Weekly Status
Press Releases
Press Kits
Stardust in the News
Team Biographies
Media Contacts

STARDUST Status Report

July 24, 1998

Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) activities: This week's focus has been on opening up the spacecraft to make some adjustments to the navigation camera circuitry and to trouble-shoot some flight software on the Command & Data Handling (CDH) unit. The navigation camera has been adjusted and reinstalled. The software issue has been isolated and resolution should not delay reclosing the spacecraft within the allocated time. This activity explains why you're seeing the spacecraft looking a bit "disheveled" in the video cam pictures here on the web-site. Preparations also continued on getting Stardust ready for the upcoming tests in the thermal-vacuum facility. This set of tests will expose Stardust to the full range of heat and cold expected in space. All the subsystems will be operated and evaluated against their design specifications. Also, the team is planning a test sequence for the so-called fault-protection safeguards. In this activity, faults are deliberately induced to cause the spacecraft's back-up systems to rush to the rescue. It's very important to have a solid set of backups so the spacecraft can take care of any emergencies far from home. It's like putting those candles in your backpack even though you expect your gas lantern to work just fine on the camping trip. And, remember, we're going to have Stardust "on the road" a long time. Such testing ensures that problems, if they exist, can be found on the ground and fixed before November's shipment to Cape Canaveral for launch on February 6.

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
Privacy F.A.Q. Contact Sitemap Credit
FIRST GOV + Freedom of Information Act
+ The President's Management Agenda
+ FY 2002 Agency Performance and accountability report
+ NASA Privacy Statement, Disclaimer, and Accessiblity Certification
+ Freedom to Manage
NASA Home Page Site Manager:
Aimee Whalen

Ron Baalke