21 Mar 2003
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Stardust Status Report
March 21, 2003
This past week, the Stardust flight team used the antennas of JPL's Deep Space Network on two occasions. Data relayed from the spacecraft during that contact indicated Stardust is healthy and all subsystems continue to run normally.
On the March 22 Deep Space Network pass, Stardust will transmit the remaining 27 images of the Pleiades star cluster stored in the spacecraft's memory. These Pleiades images were taken by Stardust's navigation camera and are being used to evaluate performance of the spacecraft camera's periscope. The Stardust team reports the 5 images already downloaded are of very good quality and calibration data obtained from these images is also very good.
Back on March 13, Stardust Principal Investigator Don Brownlee gave another great lecture on the Stardust mission at the University of Colorado Center for Astrophysics and Astronomy.
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 .