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Stardust Status Report

January 16, 2004

The Stardust team had daily communications with the spacecraft in the past week. Telemetry relayed from the spacecraft remains in very good shape after its close encounter with Comet Wild 2 back on January 2.

The Stardust spacecraft was commanded out of its encounter configuration and back into cruise configuration. It will remain in cruise until just prior to the release of the Sample Return Capsule in January 2006.

Post-encounter calibrations of both the navigation camera and Dust Flux Measurement Instrument were completed. Images taken through the periscope showed significant degradation from the dust hits during flyby as expected. The periscope performed its function of protecting the mirror and primary camera optics as images not taken through the periscope continue to be good.

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: January 16, 2004
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