15 Mar 2002
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
STARDUST Status Report
There were two Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking passes in the past week and all subsystems are normal. Stardust is currently 2.70 AU (251 million miles or 404 million kilometers) from the Sun.
Analyses of the power subsystem show that, even in the worst-case scenario, there is still extra power to recharge the battery with the current values to protect the spacecraft in the unlikely event that the battery's charge drops too low (80 percent safe mode entry, 75 percent side swap). These fault protection limits will remain in place until early summer.
A flight software patch, correcting the operating system's floating point math library function, was successfully installed as a preventative measure. No Stardust operations have been affected by this defect; however the patch was installed as a preventive measure to ensure that this defect will not impact future operations.
The team is planning to gather in early April to celebrate Dr. Kenneth L. Atkins' retirement. Ken was the original Stardust project manager, leading the team to the successful spacecraft flight system development, launch and early operations.
For more information on the Stardust mission -- the first ever comet sample return mission -- please visit the Stardust home page.