STARDUST Status Report
September 17, 1999
The STARDUST spacecraft continues to operate normally and entered cruise
sequence SC009 early this week. The spacecraft is about 2 AU (about
186 million miles or 300 million kilometers) from both the
Earth and Sun. There was a successful Kickoff Meeting for cruise
sequence SC010 where a consensus was reached on the planned activities.
The Flight Team at Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA) turned on the
German-supplied Max Planck Institute Cometary and Interplanetary Dust
Analyzer (CIDA) and the University of Chicago Dust Flux Monitor
Instrument (DFMI). CIDA is operating nominally and remains in its
cruise configuration. The DFMI operated properly in its calibration
mode and encounter mode for about 45 minutes when it began exhibiting a
behavior associated with an off-nominal power converter performance.
DFMI was commanded off and will be studied to determine which
operational modes are possible for the duration of the mission.
The STARDUST Ground Data System (GDS), provided and maintained by the
Mars Surveyor Operations Project (MSOP), continues to work flawlessly.
The GDS has, since the beginning of the project, provided all needed
capabilities to support spacecraft commanding, the downlink of
telemetry data and the health and safety monitoring of the
spacecraft and subsystems including the science payload instruments.
The Navigation Camera re-test sequence is being tested in the
Spacecraft Test Laboratory using the Software Simulation (SoftSim) for
the Navigation Camera in preparation for taking star images within the next
week or so.
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample
return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: