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
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: