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Stardust Status Report

July 3, 2003

The Stardust team had eight periods of communication with the spacecraft using the Deep Space Network in the past week. Telemetry relayed from the spacecraft indicates it is healthy and all subsystems continue to operate normally.

The 1 Astronomical Unit (AU) Engineering Activities have successfully concluded.

Two sets of deadband walks were implemented during 1 AU testing: 20 walks from / back to Earth point of 5 degrees; and 20 walks from / back to Earth point of 15 degrees. Both sets of walks were completed successfully and, as predicted, initial results show that the small forces errors were less than 1 cm/second over the entire set of walks. Analysis will continue, and the final assessment will be made on the project's expected ability to meet the Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) accuracy requirements for Earth return in 2006. Currently, all spacecraft testing results look favorable. It is expected that some calibrations will be repeated post encounter, during Earth approach to recalibrate and characterize the current maneuver performance.

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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