30 Aug 2002
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
STARDUST Status Report
There was one scheduled Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass in the past week and all subsystems are normal.
A test of the Navigation Camera mirror was successfully completed to see if the mirror would stall, even at the lowest commandable rates for adjusting its angle. As expected, the mirror moved at all commanded rates, successfully completing another in-flight test of a capability that will be needed for tracking the nucleus of Comet Wild 2 in 2004.
A software patch was successfully installed on the spacecraft for the Navigation Camera's pattern-matching and windowing code. This software searches for up to 11 bright objects in an image and then sends down only small windows around these bright objects, reducing the transmitted data by more than 1,000-fold for that image.
An alignment calibration of the Navigation Camera's mirror will be performed next week using the new software capability. Windowed images will be taken at 10-degree increments throughout the 200 degree range of mirror pointing capability.
For more information on the Stardust mission -- the first ever comet sample return mission -- please visit the Stardust home page.