STARDUST Status Report
January 22, 1999
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
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: