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STARDUST Status Report

May 5, 2000

There were four Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking passes during the past week. The spacecraft performance remains normal.

On Monday, May 1, the first Interstellar Particle (ISP) Collection campaign ended when the aerogel grid was successfully stowed. Telemetry from the spacecraft verified the Wrist, Shoulder, and Hinge motors all performed as expected. The Sample Return Capsule heat shield (cover) is in the cruise position; closed, but not locked. This was performed with the Inertial Measurement Unit's (IMU) controlling the spacecraft attitude, since the torque imparted by the cover movement exceeds the body rate capability of the All Stellar mode.

Preparations are underway for our upcoming trajectory maneuver (TCM-3) on May 24, and the acquisition of Navigation Camera images on May 25 while the IMU's are still on. Since this will be a small maneuver, the SRC cover will be opened to demonstrate that a TCM can be performed in this state, as will be required for the final two maneuvers at encounter with Comet Wild-2 in 2004. This will provide performance data for those maneuvers when the grid will be deployed.

For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page:

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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