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

September 18, 1998


Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

The Assembly, Test and Launch Operations (ATLO) team focused on spacecraft functional testing in the thermal vacuum chamber prior to thermal vacuum testing. The first cold cycle in the chamber was terminated just before achieving balance because of a failure of a switch in the support equipment which took the spacecraft battery off-line and prevented full power operation. This caused a return to ambient pressure and opening the chamber. Although cold thermal balance was not complete, sufficient information was collected showing the internal spacecraft was running colder than predicted, largely due to lower power dissipation in the Power Control Assembly (PCA) and the Command & Data Handling unit (C&DH). The radiating area outside the PCA and C&DH was reconfigured and reduced. Subsequent tests at high temperatures in the chamber also indicated that a reduced radiating area on the spacecraft is appropriate. The net result of tests at this point is that we believe the spacecraft will require less power when it is operating at aphelion -- Stardust's most distant point from the Sun. This means that we will have a larger power margin on the spacecraft at that time. Stardust has been returned to the chamber and pump-down to create the vacuum environment is in progress. The flight system continues to show no hardware functional problems.

The STARDUST mission animation video has attracted a lot of interest and is a great summary of what the mission will do. The film has been drawing rave reviews from all audiences who have seen it. It has now been converted into Quicktime format, and is available on the Web at:

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