Skip Navigation: Avoid going through Home page links and jump straight to content
NASA Logo - Jet Propulsion Laboratory    + View the NASA Portal
Search Stardust  
JPL Home Earth Solar System Stars & Galaxies Technology
Stardust Banner
Overview Mission Science Technology Newsroom Education Gallery Links Stardust Home
Weekly Status
Press Releases
Press Kits
Stardust in the News
Team Biographies
Media Contacts

STARDUST Status Report

July 1, 1999

As normal during cruise mode, there was one communications session with the STARDUST spacecraft during the last week. The session began using the Medium Gain Antenna (MGA) being driven by Solid State Power Amplifier 1 (SSPA 1) at 252 bits per second. Engineering data downlinked indicated all subsystems were performing well. SSPA 1 / MGA were powered down and the SSPA 2 / High Gain Antenna (HGA) were powered on for the first time during flight. After the attitude deadband limits were tightened to 2 degrees, communications were restarted over the HGA at 12,000 bits per second. The backlog of science and remaining engineering were brought down, clearing out data memory space. The spacecraft controllers at Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA) reported all events went exactly as tested and planned.

This sequence will be repeated monthly where SSPA 2 / HGA will be power on at the beginning of each new sequence to obtain a downlink rate over 50 times the SSPA 1 / MGA rate. This will be implemented to bring down all science data and remaining engineering data to keep heap and memory space clean. Without the use of the SSPA 2 / HGA and the high data rate, data would accumulate onboard and eventually be overwritten by new data before it could be transmitted to Earth.

The kickoff meeting was held for the first trajectory correction maneuver to be performed in mid-October. This maneuver will reduce the magnitude of the Deep Space Maneuver 1 (DSM 1), scheduled for mid-January, by 11 m/s as well as give the operations team excellent experience for the end-to-end process of maneuver design, JPL-LMA interface, command generation and verification, radiation, execution and post-maneuver evaluation.

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
Privacy F.A.Q. Contact Sitemap Credit
FIRST GOV + Freedom of Information Act
+ The President's Management Agenda
+ FY 2002 Agency Performance and accountability report
+ NASA Privacy Statement, Disclaimer, and Accessiblity Certification
+ Freedom to Manage
NASA Home Page Site Manager:
Aimee Whalen

Ron Baalke