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STARDUST Status Report

February 19, 1999


Ken Atkins
STARDUST Project Manager

STARDUST continues to demonstrate excellent flight performance. The Cruise 1 mission phase bit was set on February 16. Today, the data rate was set to 1050 bits/sec. In additiion, the Dust Flux Monitor Instrument (DMFI) was turned on and initial data downlinked and forwarded to the University of Chicago for evaluation. Recall that the DFMI is the instrument that is located on the shield inside the launch adapter ring. It will be registering impacts by particles as we fly through the comet to give the science team an indication of the number and size of particles in the dust stream. Dr. Tony Tuzzolino is the Co-Investigator who provided the instrument. Dr. Tuzzolino's "quick look" indicates the DFMI is working properly. Better information will come from the University of Chicago's detailed analysis in the days ahead.

Preparations have been now been completed for transitioning to Mission Sequence Cruise 1 and for powering the Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) next week. As expected, the planned first trajectory correction maneuver (TCM-1) was canceled today although Navigation will continue analysis of tracking data to complete the understanding of small forces effects. The cancellation of the maneuver was possible because of the accuracy of the initial trajectory injection by the Delta II rocket. I understand it's unprecedented to get such a good "shot" off the launch vehicle. It's great to "fly Boeing!" What a spectacular view that 2nd stage camera provided of the ride to space. It certainly attracted a lot of press coverage for STARDUST.

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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