Stardust Status Report
April 13, 2001
There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass this week and all
subsystems are performing normally. The spacecraft has flight sequence
SC029g active and was not impacted by the recent solar flares.
Two additional Navigation Camera images were taken while the CCD and
mirror motor heaters are still on. Both images verify that the
camera image quality remains good; the second contamination that
accumulated after Earth flyby has been removed. The heaters will
remain on for the foreseeable future, giving the highest
probability that any contaminate within the camera might be driven
out of the camera into deep space.
The Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) instrument
continues to observe the interstellar dust stream with optimal
spacecraft attitude, when not in communications with the Earth.
A blizzard, power outage and fire alarm interrupted the flight team
at Lockheed Martin Astronautics during a non-contact time with the
Stardust spacecraft. Reserve power to key computers, consoles and
lighting worked well; however, this event gives an opportunity to
review all fall-back systems for potential improvement.
The excellent Stardust launch video taken from aboard the Delta
launch vehicle was outdone by the
Mars Odyssey launch, which had both forward and aft looking cameras providing
video of this near-perfect launch.
The Science Times section of the New York Times has used a drawing
of the Stardust spacecraft with mission and spacecraft facts as
part of the newspaper's ad campaign.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: