Stardust Status Report
May 30, 2003
The Stardust team had four periods 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.
Over 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 first of these many tests was performed in the
Spacecraft Test Laboratory by exercising the "bang-bang" controller. The
"bang-bang" controller is the name for the attitude control strategy the
spacecraft will use while inside the coma of Comet Wild 2. The controller
has the authority to engage Stardust's primary and secondary thrusters in
the event of a large dust particle impact on the spacecraft.
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: