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Stardust-NEXT Mission Status Report

September 6, 2007

Artist rendition of Stardust approaching Earth Stardust is continuing its quiescent cruise and all subsystems are nominal. There have many Deep Space Network tracks in support of the upcoming Deep Space Maneuver on September 19.

Background sequence SN002 successfully starting execution on Sunday and the first task is to perform CRC checks of Stardust's memories. The check of the file system in EEPROM did not match the ground truth indicating that some location has been corrupted. During the DSN track on Tuesday we downloaded the affected area of memory to determine where the change occurred and to assess the impact if a reboot were to occur. During a reboot the code contained in EEPROM is copied to DRAM where it executes. A corrupted EEPROM, depending on the location, could prevent the spacecraft from booting on Side A and would result in a swap to the B side. The team will be examining the memory dump and comparing with the Spacecraft Test Laboratory to determine the best course of action to correct the situation.

The Stardust-NExT (New Exploration of Tempel 1) mission is to flyby the comet Tempel 1 on February 14, 2011 in order to obtain high resolution images of the coma and nucleus, as well as measurements of the composition, size distribution, and flux of dust emitted into the coma. We have developed a reliable plan to update knowledge of the rotational phase of the comet sufficiently well to have a high probability of viewing significant portions of the hemisphere studied by Deep Impact (DI) in 2005 and a high probability of imaging the crater made by its impactor. The impact event produced so much ejecta that DI did not succeed in imaging the crater.

Last Updated: September 6, 2007
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