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STARDUST Status Report

September 3, 1999

The spacecraft continues to perform nominally in cruise sequence SC008. The spacecraft is currently 1.7 AU from the Earth and 1.9 AU from the Sun. The spacecraft is approaching the range from Earth where the Deep Space Network (DSN) 34 meter Beam Waveguide (BWG) antennae can be used for commanding reliably. STARDUST will soon concentrate on using the DSN 34 meter High Efficiency (HEF) antennae almost exclusively until the spacecraft comes within 2.0 AU from Earth later next year.

The flight team at Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA) has successfully commanded the Payload and Attitude Control Interface (PACI) Board reset fix and the next cruise sequence SC009. The PACI Board will now reset properly, not causing the spacecraft to go into safe mode as it had on 2 occasions when a sun sensor read error occurred which caused an interrupt leading to an incorrect reset.

It was decided to forego Trajectory Correction Maneuver A (TCM-A) in order to continue to progress on the All Stellar command testing and implementation and to begin payload testing and observations again. There were too many activities after responding to the 2 safe modes during the last month and the Mars Surveyor 98 spacecraft are nearing Mars, taking additional attention from the LMA flight team, as planned. TCM-A will be accommodated in the Deep Space Maneuver (DSM-1).

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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