STARDUST Status Report
13 Apr 2001
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass this week and all subsystems are performing normally. The spacecraft has flight sequence SC029g active and was not impacted by the recent solar flares.
Two additional Navigation Camera images were taken while the CCD and mirror motor heaters are still on. Both images verify that the camera image quality remains good; the second contamination accumulated after Earth flyby has been removed. The heaters will remain on for the foreseeable future, giving the highest probability that any contaminate within the camera might be driven out of the camera into deep space.
The Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) instrument continues to observe the interstellar dust stream with optimal spacecraft attitude when not in communications with the Earth.
A blizzard, power outage and fire alarm interrupted the flight team at Lockheed Martin Astronautics during a non-contact time with the Stardust spacecraft. Reserve power to key computers, consoles and lighting worked well; however, this event gives an opportunity to review all fall-back systems for potential improvement.
The excellent Stardust launch video taken from aboard the Delta launch vehicle was outdone by the Mars Odyssey launch , which had both forward and aft looking cameras providing video of this near-perfect launch.
The Science Times section of the New York Times has used a drawing of the Stardust spacecraft with mission and spacecraft facts as part of the newspaper's ad campaign.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: