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STARDUST Status Report

July 23, 1999

The STARDUST spacecraft is currently 1.7 AU from the sun and 1.0 AU from the Earth. Recent communications with the spacecraft by Lockheed Martin Astronautics show that all subsystems continue performing well. The recent spacecraft commanding included sending the commands for cruise sequence SC007 which have now been implemented. The Earth will begin traveling in the opposite direction about the Sun than the STARDUST spacecraft for the next half year making the spacecraft-Earth range increase by over 0.01 AU per day during SC007.

The Principal Investigator, Prof. Jochen Kissel, of the Max Planck Institute Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) believes that CIDA has detected 5 particle impacts since launch which are now under investigation by his international science team.

The project held the Kickoff Meeting for cruise sequence SC008 which will include Navigation Camera imaging and going to all-stellar attitude. The 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 as planned.

Aimee Whalen , STARDUST Outreach Manager, was appointed Co-Chair for the Solar System Teacher Fellows Program at JPL.

The Small Bodies Display, highlighting STARDUST, Rosetta/MIRO, Deep Space 1, MUSE-CN, and NEAR, will be on loan to Cornell University for the Asteroids, Comet, and Meteorite Conference next week.

The first STARDUST Newsletter (Volume 1, Number 1) has been published and will continue to be published on a quarterly basis.

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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