STARDUST Status Report
August 18, 2000
There were two Deep Space Network
(DSN) tracking passes during the past week (actually overlaping tracks to
make one 10 hour contact period). All subsystems onboard the spacecraft
are performing normally.
The long tracking pass on August 16 was to start the Navigation Camera CCD
heater sequence. Two baseline Navigation Camera (NAVCAM) images were taken,
then the NAVCAM CCD heater was turned on and a series of NAVCAM images were
started that will run over the next week. Before the DSN tracking pass
ended yesterday, a total of 8 NAVCAM images had been taken. Ten images
remain to be taken. This CCD heater will be turned off on August 22.
Analysis of the images returned so far is ongoing but the very preliminary
analysis of the one and two hour images appears to show some change in
the images. Prior to the start of the test, the NAVCAM CCD temperature was
approximately -35 degrees C. At the end of the DSN pass, the temperature
appeared to have reached a steady state value of slightly over 9 degrees C.
A Payload Attitude Control Interface (PACI) reset was observed (August
10) that raised some concern since the temperature range of the
Command & Data Handling (C&DH) subsystem is presently in the range
(43 to 45 degrees C) where previous PACI resets have occurred. The NAVCAM
CCD heater test took it above 45 degrees C to a safe range. Options are
being looked into to keep the C&DH in a safe temperature range.
A meeting was held with the Cometary and Interstellar Dust
Analyzer (CIDA) instrument team in Helsinki. Operation and data
analysis were discussed. Both the calibration data and the raw flight
data are being prepared for archiving.
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: