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June 5, 1998

John McNamee
Mars Surveyor 98 Project Manager

Orbiter integration and test activities are proceeding on schedule. The Pressure Modulator InfraRed Radiometer (PMIRR) troubleshooting over the past 10 days has identified the suspected causes of the electronics problems that were discovered during system thermal vacuum testing. The verification of the troubleshooting as well as the fixes will be carried out over the next week. In the case of the telemetry timeout anomaly, a problem with a UTMC microcontroller used by PMIRR was discovered. This anomaly is documented at the company website, but is not flagged by the ALERT system. The JPL Parts Group is determining what other projects may be using this component. The PMIRR power on/power fluctuation problem appears to be related to a transceiver which is not wired correctly on the instrument. The optical chopper assembly is planned to be removed on the 9th and returned to Honeywell for investigation.

Lander cruise stage separation, leg deployment, and backshell separation test were conducted successfully.

After detailed technical analysis and an independent review, the decision was made to disable the capillary pump loop heat pipes and conduct all phases of the lander mission with a simple, completely passive thermal control approach. Lander integration and test activities have been re-planned with landed thermal balance testing scheduled to begin on July 18 and cruise thermal vacuum testing scheduled to begin on September 2. The re-planned schedule provides 17 days of margin prior to shipment of the lander on October 5 and retains 20 days of margin at Kennedy Space Center.

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