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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 recontamination.

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:

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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