STARDUST Status Report
4 May 2001
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass this past week and all subsystems are performing normally.
The Navigation Camera (NAVCAM) CCD and mirror motor heaters were powered off. The CCD temperature dropped from +9 degrees C to -38 degrees C in approximately twelve hours. When the CCD temperature reached its cold state, another two images were successfully taken. These pictures showed no degradation in quality, implying that no recontamination of the camera's optics had taken place, at least since the camera reached its cold operating temperature. Weekly images will be taken until mid-June to monitor the image quality with the NAVCAM in its normal operating environment.
The Cometary Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) continues to observe the interstellar dust stream with an optimal spacecraft attitude when not in communications with Earth.
The Safe Mode Recovery Plan was updated to reflect 2 years of flight experience. The plan was reviewed and would be implemented if the need ever arises.
The STARDUST Outreach team participated in the 38th National Space Congress in Cocoa Beach, Florida which drew 4,000 participants from industry, educational institutions, the general public as well as foreign participants. As part of the NASA Small Bodies Working Group, the Outreach team also supported the Women in Science Conference, held in Cheyenne, Wyoming, sponsored by the National Weather Broadcast Service. The Boy Scouts of America will have a national learning and research activity, involving 50,000 scouts, focused on STARDUST.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: