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STARDUST Status Report

October 20, 2000

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

The spacecraft was successfully commanded to take images of the Pleiades open star cluster. A mosaic of images around the Pleiades were taken in 3 rows, 4 images per row, in order to place the stars in 12 different locations within the camera's field-of-view. One image at each 12 locations was taken through the navigation filter. A high resolution filter image was also taken in each row, giving a total of 15 images in the mosaic. A sixteenth image was taken as a compressed navigation filter image, which was the first time the navigation camera hardware-compression feature was used in flight.

The mosaic was accomplished by slewing the spacecraft attitude to the start of the first row, then moving the mirror to four positions, each one-degree apart. The spacecraft was then slewed to a position to photograph the second and then third row, one degree below the previous row. The mirror movement was repeated across each row. The initial mirror angle was 28.2 degrees, ensuring that the images were not taken through the periscope. The images have been transmitted to Earth and are being analyzed by navigation and science teams.

After successfully taking the images, the spacecraft was commanded to all-stellar mode and the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) was powered off. The next scheduled power on for the IMU is in support of Trajectory Correction Maneuver 4 on November 14.

The investigation into the cause of the safe mode entry on October 4 is focusing on why an error in reading the star camera image during all-stellar mode produces a safe mode response. Spacecraft Test Laboratory tests show that the same read error does not produce a safe mode response while in gyro-based mode.

The STARDUST Outreach team participated in the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) regional meeting in Idaho and made a presentation on NASA/JPL E/PO activities and also provided a booth, materials and a presentation to the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) meeting in Sacramento.

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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