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STARDUST Status Report

January 22, 1999


Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

Launch Operations this week: Close out activities in preparation for launch continued on the spacecraft. Specifically, solar array fold and close-out and finishing of Multi-layer Insulation (MLI) thermal protection.

The final cleaning of the navigation camera periscope system was completed. The final mechanism walkdown was also completed and spacecraft observed to be very clean. The propellant loading operation went exactly as planned and thruster latch valves were closed completing readiness for mating with the Star 37 upper stage.

On Wednesday, the Flight Operations Team completed another rehearsal of the launch and initial acquisition of telemetry from the spacecraft. This test used software running in the spacecraft test lab in Denver to simulate the flying spacecraft. It provided telemetry from "scripts" to give the team the full exercise of its monitoring ground system. The team got an excellent workout and gained confidence on exactly what to expect on launch day.

Just prior to this event the Star 37 upper stage arrived at the high bay in preparation for next week's lifting, final weighing of the spacecraft and mating. Once the spacecraft is mounted on its upper stage, the assembly will be placed in its transport cannister for moving STARDUST to Space Launch Complex 17A (SLC-17A).

We are two weeks from Launch!! I am looking forward to seeing many of you here in Florida for that event. And for those not able to be here, I hope you'll be able to view the real time action on NASA TV. Contact your cable operator to be sure you get the NASA channel. I expect we will also be available here on the web site.

It's time to "Go Boeing Delta! Go STARDUST!"

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
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