Update from the Cosmic Dust Lab in Houston

Dave (seated) and Zack (standing)

Ron (left) and Jack (right) unpacking the flight spare tray

Extraction setup on the computer

Micromanipulator, arm and needle. The red dot on the micromanipulator head is the laser spot on the retroreflective tape for the safety stop.

Close-up of the vertical needle

Snapshot of the extraction computer screen during the beginning of the fine vertical cut. The cuts are gorgeous!!

Dave (Frank), Zack (Gainsforth) and I (Andrew) started work on extractions on Monday morning here at Johnson Space Center in Houston. We’re working with Jack Warren and Ron Bastien here at JSC.
We started by installing a new laser safety stop (you can see the laser spot on the micromanipulator head in the second picture below). We then started a *slow* blank keystone on the Stardust interstellar flight spare on Monday afternoon. We started with the angled
undercutting needle, then this morning switched to the vertical needle. For this first picokeystone we are starting slowly, so it was still going as of early evening.