STARDUST Status Report
December 1, 2000
The STARDUST spacecraft and all subsystems are performing normally in
cruise sequence SC024. The Navigation Camera's charge-coupled device
and mirror motor heaters were turned on in a continuing effort to
improve camera performance. An image of the calibration lamp was
transmitted to Earth, showing that the camera continues to improve.
With both heaters on, the temperatures of the CCD and mirror motor
are already a few degrees higher than the previous heating cycle and
are expected to rise even a few more degrees when trajectory correction
maneuver #4 (TCM-4) is performed, since the inertial measurement unit
is on and the sun will be shining on the Navigation
Camera radiator. These heaters will be turned off later in December
before trajectory correction maneuver #5 (TCM-5).
All processes are proceeding well in preparation for Earth Gravity
Assist (EGA.) The trajectory correction maneuver that was planned for
this week has been moved to next week. A larger than desired error
accumulated in the calculated maneuver due to erroneous small forces
data obtained while in safe mode last week. This error could have been
taken out in TCM-5; however it was decided to remove this error in TCM-4.
An additional benefit was gained by combining TCM-4 with the
spacecraft turn to EGA flyby attitude all in one sequence next week
rather than 2 sequences if we implemented TCM-4 this week and then the
turn to EGA attitude next week.
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: