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Stardust Status Report

April 18, 2003

Over the past week, the Stardust team completed the first Comet Wild 2 encounter sequence test in the Spacecraft Test Laboratory. This testing is in support of Stardust's historic encounter with Comet Wild 2 in January of next year.

The success of last year's Annefrank flyby is still positively affecting the Stardust mission. Stardust made a close pass of asteroid Annefrank back on November 2, 2002. During this flyby many spacecraft functions that will be employed during Stardust's encounter with Comet Wild 2, were proven to be operational. This positive confirmation of both the vehicle and team's performance now allows the Stardust team to look beyond the Wild 2 encounter to the challenging operations required for Earth return in 2006.

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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