STARDUST Status Report
January 15, 2001
Early this morning, the STARDUST spacecraft successfully completed its first
solar orbit when it flew by the Earth. Closest approach distance was
approximately 6007.64 kilometers (3719 miles) at approximately 11:14.28 UTC
(04:14.28 MST, 03:14.28 PST). The Deep Space Network (DSN) at Canberra was able
to track the spacecraft until the end of its track at 11:00 UTC. The Goldstone
DSN complex acquired the spacecraft's signal at 12:30 UTC as predicted. No
coverage was possible between 11:00 and 12:30 as the spacecraft was below the
elevation limits of the DSN. All subsystems performance are normal. The
thermal subsystem reports that all temperatures are slightly lower than predicted.
Later today, the commands for the navigation camera (NAVCAM) to take images
of the Moon will be transmitted to the spacecraft. The first of twenty-five
images will be taken later today. These images are being taken to provide
calibration data for the navigation camera.
Astronomers from California, Hawaii and Australia have reported successful
observations of the spacecraft during the Earth flyby, and images of the
spacecraft will be placed on the STARDUST home page as they become available.
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: