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Stardust Status Report

October 26, 2001

There was one Deep Space Network tracking pass in the past week and the spacecraft is performing as planned at 2.43 AU (about 225 million miles) from the Sun. Commands were successfully transmitted to the spacecraft that redefined the definition of deep space from 2.5 AU to 2.4 AU (from 232 million miles to 223 million miles.) This will affect how the spacecraft will respond if it goes into a safe mode at this distance from the Sun where power is low. Based on the new definition, Stardust will remain in deep space until October 2002.

The 2001 Mars Odyssey mission had a tremendously successful Mars Orbit Insertion on October 23. STARDUST will apply the well tested and implemented operational processes and lessons learned at the Comet Wild 2 encounter in 2004.

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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