Stardust Status Report
February 8, 2002
There were two Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking passes in the past week, and
all subsystems are normal.
Activities are in progress to predict the power margin at aphelion, when
the spacecraft reaches the furthest point in its orbit from the Sun. Since
Stardust is the first spacecraft to operate so far away from the Sun, there
is no data for solar powered spacecraft at this distance, so we will take a
conservative approach in regards to power usage. It is expected that the DSN
passes will decrease from the current time, about 4 hours, to approximately
1.5 hours by late March. This will ensure that the spacecraft's power
demand does not exceed the solar arrays' ability to provide current to
re-charge the battery.
The Education and Public Outreach team gave a presentation on Stardust and the NASA
plan to explore comets at the NASA Educators Resource Center in Pomona, California.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: