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STARDUST Status Report

June 2, 2000

There were eight Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking passes during the past week. All subsystems onboard the spacecraft are performing normally.

Trajectory Correction Maneuver #3 (TCM-3) was successfully executed last week, and provided a velocity change of 1.869 meters/second. An attempt was made to maintain carrier lock on the downlink signal from the spacecraft during the maneuver. Even though the maneuver attitude was at the edge of the Medium Gain Antenna's (MGA) beam width, the DSN was unable to detect the carrier signal.

There will be two additional TCMs prior to the Comet Wild-2 encounter in 2004 to control the spacecraft flyby distance. These TCMs will be executed with the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) heat shield in the open position since the Aerogel collector will be deployed for dust collection at the comet encounter. The heat shield was open during TCM-3, successfully demonstrating that TCMs can be performed in this configuration.

After TCM-3 the SRC heat shield was successfully returned to its cruise position (unlocked). The SRC will remain in this configuration until July 2001 when the next interstellar dust collection period begins.

Twenty-eight Navigation Camera images were successfully taken with 21 of the 28 images played back over a 70 meter DSN station. The remaining images will be downlinked over the next month. These images will provide additional data on the camera's sensitivity.

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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