Stardust Status Report
November 2, 2001
There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass in the past week.
The Stardust spacecraft is currently 2.45 AU (about 228 million miles) from
the Sun, and all of its subsystems are performing normally.
The power subsystem team has been conservatively predicting that the DSN
passes beyond 2.3 AU (about 214 million miles) from the Sun will require
power from the battery, thus limiting their duration. To date, the solar
arrays are providing sufficient power during the DSN passes, and the
batteries have not yet been used during a communications pass.
One possible reason is that the solar array, when cold, (-58 C or -72 F)
provides more power. This factor, coupled with smaller heater loads, gives
a larger power margin than predicted. The power engineers are continuing
to analyze this in order to better predict the power margin. Since
Stardust continues to go further from the Sun than any other solar-powered
spacecraft, no flight data for solar panel performance at this solar
distance exists to help predict Stardust's performance.
Data Management and Archive team members met with the Max Planck Institute
and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. They made great progress in
producing a data archive for the Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer
(CIDA) instrument to deliver to the NASA Planetary Data System.
The archive will include instrument and data descriptions and calibrations,
ground and flight data and ancillary data to support data reduction.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: