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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:

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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