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STARDUST Status Report

July 16, 1999

Recent communications with the STARDUST spacecraft by Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA) shows that all subsystems continue performing well. Spacecraft commanding included changing the contents of a few telemetry packets and also changing the production rates to maximize information content of the telemetry. The Solid State Power Amplifiers (SSPA's), turned off during non-contact periods, were powered on in their high gain states during the last contact period as expected. The Attitude Control System (ACS) determined that 2.2 kg of fuel has been used since launch, below expected usage, and the actual daily expenditure of 3 grams/day continues to be below the allocation of 4 grams/day.

Detailed analyses of telemetry and radio tracking navigation data over the last 2 months by LMA ACS and JPL Navigation of the small forces imparted to the spacecraft due to ACS jet firings has led to small parameters value updates used to compute the small forces onboard the spacecraft. The command to update these parameter values in a configuration file has been successfully tested in the Spacecraft Test Laboratory (STL).

Development and testing of the Flight Software patches for All-Stellar Attitude control mode by the Star Camera as well as the task priority inversion are going well and it is expected that STARDUST will be in All-Stellar Mode as well as taking Navigation Camera images in approximately one month.

STARDUST participated in the JPL project-wide Y2K Drill to demonstrate Y2K compatibility and compliance within the timeline established by NASA Headquarters. The Mars Surveyor Operations Project (MSOP) / Telecommunication and Mission Operations Directorate (TMOD) supplied Ground Data System demonstrated the required compatibility and compliance.

STARDUST is following the flight activities of Deep Space 1 (DS1) which will encounter the asteroid 1992 KD on July 29. The STARDUST nucleus tracking flight software was derived from the DS1 Autonomous Optical Navigation flight software which will actively control the asteroid flyby trajectory.

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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