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STARDUST Status Report

October 13, 2000

There were three Deep Space Network passes this past week. As reported last week, the spacecraft went into safe-mode during a scheduled DSS 45 track. During an added track on Thursday, the spacecraft turned on the downlink as expected. Data was collected for quick analysis and a decision to exit safe mode was made within the 24-hour window. On Friday October 6, during our scheduled track, the spacecraft returned to standard operation when it was put into normal cruise mode and the background sequence was re-started. Attitude reference was performed by Inertial Motion Units (gyro's) rather than all stellar. This was a precaution until the cause of safe-mode could be better understood. On Tuesday, Lockheed Martin Astronautics reported that they were able to duplicate the safe-mode in the test lab. For temperature control purposes the processor was running at 10 MHz. The freshly uplinked background sequence was processing and NavCam images were playing back. An attitude image read error occurred, and caused a safe mode entry. The spacecraft team at LMA is investigating the logic that produces error messages to cause a request for safe mode.

The track on October 11 was routine. In a regular maintenance sequence, the spacecraft was commanded to change the solar panel output from parallel to series to ensure proper battery charging rates as the solar range changes.

The spacecraft is operating in sequence SC023, and planning for sequence 024 is underway at 10 MHz.

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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