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: