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Stardust Status Report

January 25, 2002

There were two Deep Space Network tracking passes during the past week and all subsystems are normal.

Stardust successfully completed Deep Space Maneuver 2, the seventh trajectory correction maneuver since launch. This maneuver corrected errors from last year's Earth flyby.

All subsystems performed normally as the spacecraft turned away from the Sun to perform the 2.65 meter/second burn.

The power subsystem has been performing even better than predicted when the spacecraft must point away from the Sun -- its power source -- to communicate with Earth or to maneuver. For a typical communications pass, the battery's charge state goes from 107% to 85%. After the maneuver, the battery's charge state, predicted to go down to 70 percent, had only dropped to 95 percent before the spacecraft turned back toward the Sun and the battery could recharge with solar power.

Currently, the solar panels are producing approximately 0.2 amps more than predicted.

Although the power performance margin indicates Stardust could have additional communication time, we will continue to use a conservative approach since Stardust is the first mission to use solar panels so far from the Sun.

Stardust reaches the furthest point from the Sun in its orbit 2.72 AU in mid-April and will exit Deep Space (2.4 AU) in late October of this year.

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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