Stardust Status Report
May 23, 2003
The Stardust team had one period of communications with the spacecraft in
the past week. Telemetry relayed from the spacecraft indicates it is
healthy and all subsystems continue to operate normally.
A successful nominal Comet Wild 2 encounter test was performed in the Spacecraft
Test Laboratory. During the next three weeks the Spacecraft Test Laboratory
will run a series of test cases designed to stress the spacecraft's
Attitude Control Subsystem. This will be accomplished by simulating dust
particle hits (up to 1 centimeter in size) on different parts of Stardust's
protective Whipple Shield.
The Stardust project participated with other NASA Solar System missions in the
2003 JPL Open House last weekend. An estimated 24,000 people attended
the Open House.
At a recent National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration meeting
Stardust's Principle Investigator, Don Brownlee, spoke to over 200 invited
guests about the mission. The subject of Brownlee's address was the
challenges a 'class 5' solar flare placed on both the Stardust spacecraft
and team two years ago.
The Stardust Education and Public Outreach team gave a talk to Disneyland
personnel and their families as part of a JPL tour. A cube of aerogel has
been on display at Disneyland since 2000.
Stardust Project Manager, Tom Duxbury, was interviewed by Discovery Channel
about the STARDUST mission and its use of aerogel for intact particle capture.
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: