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STARDUST Status Report

April 28, 2000

There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass during the past week and the spacecraft performance remains normal. Flight cruise sequence SC017 is now active.

The next tracking pass will include the final aerogel grid position update, which will move the grid to its full open position.

Commands were transmitted to the spacecraft to increase the telemetry reporting of the number of valid stars that the Star camera sees. The camera usually sees about ten stars but lately has seen as few as three. Data indicates no change in Camera performance. This fluctuation appears to be a function of spacecraft pointing during Sun pointing. The increased telemetry production will provide some insight into this fluctuation.

The first interstellar dust collection campaign will end next week on May 1. The aerogel collector will be retracted and the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) will then be closed. STARDUST has been collecting interstellar dust since February 22, 2000.

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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