STARDUST Status Report
May 21, 1999
STARDUST is at planned cruise level tracking as the Flight Team at
Lockheed Martin had only one communication session with the spacecraft
during the past week. The spacecraft remains in excellent health with
all subsystems performing nominally. The spacecraft continues to go
further out from the Sun and Earth, and is currently about 1.37 AU from
the Sun with a 1-way light time of 3 minutes 1 second.
The Max Planck Institute Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA)
is powered on, facing into the interstellar dust stream and operating
nominally. A significant part of the last and next week's
communication periods will be used to bring down recorded CIDA data.
The University of Chicago Dust Flux Monitor Instrument remains off and
the data is under study to determine the cause of faulty packets being
received by Command and Data Handling (C&DH) memory last week.
The STARDUST Outreach team is busy planning for the JPL Open House coming
up in June which includes setting up a Small Bodies exhibit.
The next background sequence will start next Monday, when the telemetry
bit rate will be lowered to 504 bits/second, using the medium gain antenna
for communication. This sequence will run for four weeks.
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample
return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: