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Stardust Status Report

May 3, 2002

There were two Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking passes this past week. The spacecraft health was excellent with no ill effects due to the passage through aphelion - its furthest distance from the Sun. Analysis of the recorded engineering data indicates there was sufficient power margin at aphelion. The average solar array usage was 84 percent or 5.8 amps.

The Battery State of Charge (SOC) was 90.5 percent at the end of the last DSN pass. Although STARDUST has passed aphelion, the Battery SOC is expected to continue to decrease because the Sun-Probe-Earth (SPE) angle is increasing. The SPE angle will reach its maximum of 21.8 degrees later this month.

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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