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STARDUST Status Report

October 9, 1998


Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) activities: This week's focus has been the series of tests that constitute System Performance Test (SPT) 3 plus fault protection testing, and Sample Return Capsule (SRC) deployment. The SPT mission sequence tests have generally gone very well. These tests verify the flight software appropriately controls all the things the spacecraft is supposed to do during the launch and initial set up in space. As the team proceeds, each phase of the mission must be tested like we will actually fly. These rehearsals are even more crucial for STARDUST than rehearsals are for Broadway shows. We also need to defend ourselves against "Murphy's Laws" ..... I'm sure most of you are familiar with "Mr. Murphy" in your own activities. To get us as "Murphy-Proof" as we can, the spacecraft carries an arsenal of fault protection software so that if anything unusual is detected, the ship will immediately move into a "safe" configuration and "call home." The team ran a series of fault protection tests to validate and/or identify corrections required in the software and procedures.

For those following the webcam action, I'm sure you noticed the work going on with the SRC. As you could see, the spacecraft is down on its "horizontal" with the SRC stuck into a plastic box. This is an extra clean box to allow the opening and deployment of the aerogel collector test unit without getting it contaminated. With the delivery of the flight aerogel collector last week, we will be removing the test unit and installing the flight unit next week. You can see the photos of the flight collector in the Photo Gallery Section at:

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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