Stardust Status Report
April 27, 2001
There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass this week and all
subsystems are performing normally.
The Navigation Camera successfully took two images with the CCD and
mirror motor heaters still on. These images show
excellent improvement obtained shortly after the heaters were turned
on. The CCD and mirror heaters will be powered off next week to end
heating cycle #3.
The spacecraft will be in the exact orbital position this June where
it will encounter Comet Wild 2 one orbit later, in 2.5 years. We
want to use this opportunity to test the Navigation Camera at this
location and need to turn the heaters prior to this, with
sufficient time to see if there is a recontamination after the camera
cools to its normal operating temperature (-35 C). Weekly images
will continually be taken until June to monitor if there is a
The spacecraft maintains an optimal attitude, when not communicating
with the Earth, for the German Cometary and Interstellar Dust
Analyzer (CIDA) to observe the interstellar dust stream. CIDA will
continue observing the interstellar dust stream for at least another
month at this optimal attitude.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: