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STARDUST Update - July 10, 1998

                           STARDUST Status Report
                                July 10, 1998
                                 Ken Atkins
                          STARDUST Project Manager

Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) activities: The Lockheed Martin
Team completed the close out and loading of the spacecraft into the shipping
container for move to the Multiple Test Facility (MTF) on schedule -- 
July 11!! This signals a major step in readying the ship for flight. In the MTF
it will be subjected to the vacuum, thermal and other environments it will
experience in actual flight to the comet. This literal "spin, shake, and
bake" is intended to unmask any weak spots in Stardust's flight readiness.
The move to the MTF is like the "roll out" before first flight tests of new

With the vehicle now assembled, the team is now anticipating a chance to see
how designs and manufacturing will work all together in the crucible of
space. It is an exciting time.

Certainly for those visiting this site regularly, you have been able to
follow the action on the vidicam of the dedicated folks in the "bunny suits"
as they have carefully brought all the pieces together. We know Stardust is
"alive" in the protective, air-filled comfort of the "room-temperature" high
bay. Now we're moving the camera with the ship to chronicle the adventures
in the tougher regime of environmental and thermal test. So, stay tuned.

We announced with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund that all 58,214 names
from the Vietnam Memorial will be added to the second microchip as a tribute
to those who fell in America's longest war. Approximately 2,500,000 people
visit "The Wall" each year, making it the most-visited memorial in
Washington D.C. The full text of the press release is available by clicking
on "Stardust in the News" under the "What's New" beacon on the homepage

We are now more than 600,000 "passengers" for the Wild-2 ride!

For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample
return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page:


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