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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:

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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