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May 22, 1998

John McNamee
Mars Surveyor 98 Project Manager

Orbiter integration and test activities are proceeding on schedule. Mission system testing of the mapping phase which involved the execution of the flight mapping sequences was completed successfully. Troubleshooting of the various Pressure Modulator InfraRed Radiometer (PMIRR) anomalies continues and much progress has been made in resolving these problems. None of the PMIRR problems appear to be major obstacles to the launch of the orbiter.

Lander integration and test activities have been disrupted due to an anomaly involving the capillary pump loop (CPL) thermal control hardware. The cruise thermal vacuum test was interrupted on May 19 after the test team was unable to keep the CPL's primed and running during the test due to known design deficiencies and artifacts of the test set up. After a thorough review by Lockheed Martin and JPL Project and Off-Project engineers the decision was made to resolve all CPL design issues before proceeding with any further cruise thermal vacuum testing or landed thermal balance testing at Mars ambient. This approach allows the thermal subsystem engineers to focus on solving the core design problem with CPL operation on the pad, during ascent, and in early cruise without the diversion of designing an alternative test set up that could allow completion of the cruise thermal vacuum test objectives in a non-flight configuration. The alternative test set up approach was viewed as too high risk in terms of schedule and potential hardware damage.

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