8 Mar 2002
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
STARDUST Status Report
There were two Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking passes during the the past week and all subsystems are normal. Stardust is currently 2.70 AU from the Sun.
The battery's charge state at the end of the last four-hour pass was 93.4 percent. In the unlikely event the charge state dipped to 80 percent, the spacecraft would enter safe mode. The power subsystem engineers continue to monitor the predicted power state. They will raise the limit for entering safe mode before a sequence is uploaded that changes all passes to less than 2 hours.
The spacecraft's telecommunications configuration produces ranging points that help the determine Stardust's trajectory through deep space, using the distance between Deep Space Network and the spacecraft. The configuration time was recently halved from 20 minutes to only ten minutes, which still gives many ranging points per pass and the data quality remains good, at better than 3 meters per ranging point.
For more information on the Stardust mission -- the first ever comet sample return mission -- please visit the Stardust home page: http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov