Stardust Status Report
October 11, 2002
Stardust had three periods of radio contact through JPL's Deep Space
Network this week. The spacecraft is in good health and is continuing
to collect interstellar particles.
Heaters for the Navigation Camera's light-sensing electronics and mirror
motor and were turned on for 3 days to remove a very slight contamination
that built up during a year-long period in which the camera was not
used. Additional star images were taken, including some through the
periscope, to continue to characterize the camera's performance.
A trajectory correction maneuver was completed successfully on October 9th.
The spacecraft has a sequence of procedures to perform during its comet
encounter. Many successful tests of the encounter sequence have been
performed in the Spacecraft Test Laboratory. The encounter sequence
includes an updated way of calculating how to track the comet nucleus,
based on lessons learned during the Deep Space 1 spacecraft's encounter
with comet Borrelly last year. This updated software worked successfully
in the simulated encounters, including one case in which it commanded
the spacecraft to perform a 7-degree roll turn to continue tracking
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: