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Stardust Status Report

September 21, 2001

There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass in the past week. All subsystems onboard the spacecraft are performing normally.

Currently, STARDUST is 2.3 Astronomical Units from the Sun and is continually moving further out. The solar panel usage is at approximately 83% when communicating; therefore the spacecraft has sufficient power from the panels to communicate continuously if needed. Within the next month when the spacecraft is its furthest distance from the Sun, the solar panel usage is expected to reach 100% while communicating, and the battery will be used to supply the additional power needed. At this time our communications will be limited to about 2 hours before the battery would need to be re-charged.

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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