STARDUST Status Report
July 28, 2000
There was one Deep Space Network
(DSN) tracking pass during the past week. All subsystems onboard the spacecraft
are performing normally.
The checkout of the Navigation Camera (NAVCMA) Charge Couple Device
(CCD) was successfully performed. This checkout turned the heater on
for 40 minutes and the thermal profile was compared against predicts.
The CCD temperature rose nearly 20 degrees (C).
Also, there was a 4 degree rise in temperature detected in
front of the primary optics by the mirror. The current plan is to
turn on the heater two hours before the start of the first DSN pass
in August. The heater will then be left on for a week with calibration
images taken periodically. Based on the heater checkout, the CCD
temperature will not exceed its flight allowable value.
During STARDUST's next aphelion, in April 2002, the predicted power
margin will be minimal as expected. In order to determine the actual
power consumption while still away from the Sun (1.8 AU), a test of
the spacecraft's aphelion configuration was started on Tuesday. This
test included powering off the Cometary Interplanetary Dust Analyzer (CIDA),
placing CIDA's heaters in their non-operational set-points, and changing
the CPU speed to 10 MHz. During the non-contact period, power and
thermal data will be collected every minute and recorded for playback
during the next DSN pass. The spacecraft was then returned to its
current cruise configuration.
A solicited oral presentation on STARDUST was given by the Deputy
Project Manager, Tom Duxbury, to start the 33rd COSPAR Science
Assembly session on Small Body Exploration in Warsaw, Poland. Plans
were made to include a special session on Comet Wild 2 in the 2002
COSPAR meeting, bringing together the world cometary experts to discuss
the latest observations, modeling and data analyses. New understandings
of Comet Wild 2 of its size, brightness, albedo, rotational state, dust
and gas production, etc. will be factored into the Wild 2 encounter operations
A science presentation to JPL was given by the Camera Team Lead,
Ray Newburn, in the von Karman auditorium with excellent lab participation.
A NASA Teachers Workshop was supported at JPL and two Web Chats were
held in support of the NASA/JPL Ambassadors Program.
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: