Stardust Status Report
November 22, 2002
Stardust has returned to normal cruise operations after its flyby of
asteroid Annefrank earlier this month. The spacecraft is healthy and
performing well. A trajectory correction maneuver that had been tentatively
scheduled for after the asteroid flyby will not be performed, as the
spacecraft is so well on course and no adjustment is needed.
Stardust continues to collect interstellar dust particles. The position of
the aerogel grid used for catching the dust particles was changed to keep
the grid perpendicular to the dust flow.
The Stardust flight team had one period of communication with the
spacecraft through an antenna of JPL's Deep Space Network this
week. As part of a technology demonstration, a New Mexico antenna
of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Long Baseline Array
successfully received a Stardust downlink signal. Additional
tests may lead to the use of the Very Long Baseline Array as a new
resource for navigational tracking of NASA missions.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever
comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: