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STARDUST Status Report

September 29, 2000

There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass during the past week. All subsystems onboard the spacecraft are performing normally.

The DSN pass was used to take additional Navigation Camera (NAVCAM) images. These new five images replaced the previous five images that had higher than desired attitude body rates due to an incorrect thruster controller file. These high attitude rates smeared the star images, not allowing for accurate interpretation of camera performance.

When the attitude deadbands are tightened to 0.25 degrees (from 2 degrees in this case), the Z axis thrusters can fire more frequently than once per second. This thruster firing caused an unusually high smear in the images taken on September 12th. An update to the procedure for taking NAVCAM images has been accomplished to ensure the correct thruster configuration file is used in the future.

Approximately eighty percent of the first image was transmitted to the Earth and analysis of the images is on going.

A science co-investigators meeting was held at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Participants included the JPL Director and the Directors for Telecommunications and Mission Operations and for Space and Earth Science Programs. For science, the Principal Investigator (PI) and Deputy PI, the Co-Investigators (Co-I's) and representatives of the German Cometary and Interplanetary Dust Analyzer (CIDA), the University of Chicago Dust Flux Measurement Instrument (DFMI), the JPL aerogel particle collection, the JPL camera and JPL / Lockheed Martine Astronautics (LMA) dynamical science were present. The science obtained to date and status of the instruments were discussed.

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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