Stardust Status Report
March 30, 2001
There were two Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking passes in the past
week and all subsystems are performing normally.
The third heating sequence for Stardust's Navigation Camera started
last week. The heating proved successful within a few days -- the
camera regained its improved performance, from just the CCD and
mirror motor heaters being turned on. This week commands were sent
to place the CCD radiator in the path of the Sun's rays to raise the
camera's temperature even higher. We expect to keep the heaters on
for one to two months to drive as much of the contaminate out of the
camera housing, minimizing any chance of recontamination when the
heating cycle is completed. Weekly images will be taken to document
the state of the camera coating during this time.
Tom Duxbury, STARDUST Project Manager, gave an invited talk on
STARDUST to the European Geophysical Society XXVI General Assembly
where he also was chairman of the Comets, Asteroids and Dust in
the Solar System Session.
A new model for the expected dust production rates of Comet Wild 2 at
encounter was produced using earth-based observations during the
last Wild 2 apparition. This is the first model update since before
launch and is part of the preparatory work leading to the Wild 2
Encounter Workshop in May.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: