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STARDUST Status Report

November 13, 2000

The Stardust spacecraft is successfully communicating with Earth and all subsystems onboard the spacecraft are operating normally.

At 06:45 GMT on Wednesday, November 8, and before the next scheduled DSN (Deep Space Network) pass at 8:45 GMT on Thursday, November 9, the Stardust spacecraft went into safe mode. The cause of the safe mode was apparently due to the loss of spacecraft attitude from the star camera's inability to match star patterns. The spacecraft engineering team is investigating whether the problem with the star camera is related to a very large solar flare which occurred at about 23:00 GMT on Wednesday, November 8.

On Monday, November 13, commands were sent to take the spacecraft out of safe mode and back into its normal cruise operating mode. This operation was successfully completed and the Stardust spacecraft is out of safe mode and operating normally. Currently, we are on IMU's (Initial Measuring Unit) with the star camera position updates, and the High Gain Antenna (HGA) is pointed toward Earth for uplink/downlink activities for the remainder of today's scheduled DSN pass.

The Stardust Flight Team will continue monitoring the spacecraft to ensure there are no residual effects from the solar flare and will begin preparing for the next expected trajectory correction maneuver scheduled for early next week.

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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