STARDUST Status Report
STARDUST Project Manager
The Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) team completed
installation of the thermocouples for the upcoming System Thermal Vacuum
(STV) test we've be talking about for several weeks. Part of the preparation
also included installation of special insulation blankets to protect STARDUST
components against the cold of space.
Last week, you'll recall
I mentioned the electromagnetic interference (EMI) and stray voltage testing.
To help explain that a little better, one of our correspondents suggests
the following: a common example of EMI is the fuzz on a television screen
caused by an electric razor nearby. The results of the EMI test mean
that there will be no such interference among the various power and data
signals on board. Similar results in the stray voltage tests assured
that there are no "sneak paths" on board for electrical power to reach
unintended locations on the spacecraft. "Stray" voltage like that could
cause improper operation of instruments or relays. (A stray voltage in
your car, for example, could cause your fuel gauge to read improperly,
or your power window to quit working.) I hope this helps make some of
the testing jargon a little easier to understand.
team is working hard and holding schedule very well for meeting the date
at Cape Canaveral with the Delta II rocket. Everyone is pleased the flight
system continues to show no hardware functional problems going into environmental
Launch Vehicle: One the other news front, Boeing's
Delta III failure investigation has determined no technical commonalities
that preclude continuation of the Delta II launch schedule. The next
Delta II launch is scheduled for September 8. Seven Delta II launches
are scheduled ahead of STARDUST.
Outreach: Translation of
the Stardust "Send Your Name" list to the silicon chip has been completed.
I'm sure you'll be seeing lots (pictures and info on the web site) about
the process of how that was done. It still is fascinating to think we
can put over a million names on a chip the size of your fingernail! Talk
about "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!" Wow!
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