21 Feb 2003
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Stardust Status Report
February 21, 2003
This past week, the Stardust flight team used the antennas of JPL's Deep Space Network on one occasion. Data relayed from the spacecraft during that contact indicated Stardust is healthy and all subsystems continue to run normally.
The Stardust team is planning to send those images of the Pleiades star cluster that are stored in the spacecraft's memory. These Pleiades images were taken by Stardust's navigation camera and will be used to evaluate performance of the spacecraft camera's periscope. This data transfer will occur in early March.
The team is also completing preparations for a series of evaluations of the command sequence to be used during Stardust's encounter with Comet Wild 2. These evaluations, or 'tabletops', will be used to analyze and streamline the sequence of commands the Stardust spacecraft will execute during encounter.
Information on the present position and orbits of the Stardust spacecraft and Comet Wild 2 may be found on the "Where Is Stardust Right Now?" web page located at: http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/scnow.html
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 .