Stardust Status Report
February 14, 2003
This past week, the Stardust flight team had use of the antennas of JPL's
Deep Space Network on three separate occasions. Data relayed from the
spacecraft on these contacts indicated Stardust is healthy and all
subsystems continue to run normally.
During one of the passes, the Deep Space Network took the opportunity to
give their new Network Simplification Plan a deep space workout. The
Network Simplification Plan is an upgrade of hardware and software
currently being implemented at the various Deep Space Network ground
stations.The demonstration was a success.
Speaking of the Deep Space Network, the Stardust team has incorporated
additional 'dish time' into the new programming that will soon be uplinked
to the spacecraft. The supplementary Deep Space Network passes will be
utilized to transmit images stored in the spacecraft's memory of the
Pleiades star cluster. These Pleiades images were taken by Stardust's
navigation camera and will be used to evaluate performance of the
spacecraft camera's periscope.
Information on the present position and orbits of the Stardust spacecraft
and Comet Wild 2 may be found on the "Where Is Stardust Right Now?"
web page located at:
For more information on the Stardust mission -- the first ever comet
sample return mission -- please visit the Stardust home page: