Stardust Status Report
May 4, 2001
There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass this past week
and all subsystems are performing normally.
The Navigation Camera (NAVCAM) CCD and mirror motor heaters were powered
off. The CCD temperature dropped from +9
degrees C to -38 degrees C in approximately twelve hours. When the CCD
temperature reached its cold state, another two images were successfully
taken. These pictures showed no degradation in quality, implying that no
recontamination of the camera's optics had taken place, at least since the
camera reached its cold operating temperature. Weekly images will be
taken until mid-June to monitor the image quality with the NAVCAM in its normal
The Cometary Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) continues to observe the
interstellar dust stream with an optimal spacecraft attitude when not in
communications with Earth.
The Safe Mode Recovery Plan was updated to reflect 2 years of flight
experience. The plan was reviewed and will be implemented
if the need ever arises.
The STARDUST Outreach team participated in the 38th National Space
Congress in Cocoa Beach, Florida which drew 4,000 participants from
industry, educational institutions, the general public as well as foreign
participants. As part of the NASA Small Bodies Working Group, the Outreach team also
supported the Women in Science Conference, held in Cheyenne, Wyoming,
sponsored by the National Weather Broadcast Service. The Boy Scouts of
America will have a national learning and research activity, involving
50,000 scouts, focused on STARDUST.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: