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STARDUST Status Report

September 24, 1999

The STARDUST spacecraft continues to operate normally in cruise sequence SC009, cruising in the main asteroid belt about 2 AU from both the Earth and Sun.

The Flight Team at Lockheed Martin Astronautics completed all testing of the operating system task priority inversion and all stellar flight software patches and will perform the final reviews of these test results next week.

Even though the University of Chicago Dust Flux Monitor Instrument (DFMI) exhibited a previously seen anomaly with a power converter and had to be powered off after 1 hour of operations, it has operated longer than the previous time, showing signs of recovering partially from this problem. The DFMI will be able to provide exciting data at the Comet Wild 2 encounter as expected, the question now is how long can it operate before needing to be powered off. Additional studies and flight tests will be performed prior to the comet flyby and the Earth flyby in 2001.

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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