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Stardust Status Report

August 24, 2001

The regularly scheduled Deep Space Network (DSN) pass on Tuesday, August 21 was used to restart the revised background sequence and install two flight software patches. A third flight software patch was also installed to correct a Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) command timeout concern. The flight software code needed a longer delay time to ensure that CIDA had sufficient time to respond to commands sent to it.

CIDA completed its second interstellar dust collection period on August 12. The instrument was going to remain powered on until September 12, since the spacecraft's attitude is still favorable for analyzing interstellar dust particles. Now, CIDA will remain powered off until power conditions allow it to be turned on again, probably in January 2003. For the next 15 months Stardust will be in deep space -- more than 2.2 AU from the Sun -- and will not have sufficient Sun power to continuously operate the science instruments.

The Spacecraft Test Laboratory computer that executes simulations received a new processor card, increasing its computing capacity by approximately 25%. The existing processor was operating at its maximum capacity, and created unreliable timing performance. Testing is in progress to determine if the new processor has corrected this concern.

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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