STARDUST Status Report
October 8, 1999
The STARDUST spacecraft continues to perform normally with the flight team
at Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA) concentrating on downlinking
science and engineering data as well as sending commands needed to go
to All Stellar attitude control during the next few weeks. This is the
last week in cruise sequence SC009 with cruise sequence SC010 starting
A problem with the Navigation Camera Engineering Model (NCEM) in the
LMA Spacecraft Test Laboratory (STL) has been traced to a bad cable
connection. The final testing of the priority inversion flight
software patch and the Navigation Camera retest sequence have now been
initiated with a fully operational STL including the NCEM.
The STARDUST operations and science team met with the Deep Space 1
Project to obtain "lessons learned" from their asteroid flyby as
related to our comet flyby. Camera calibration, sequence testing in
STL and flight and contingency planning were some of the major
highlights of the discussion.
The Education and Public Outreach activities continue at a high and
productive level. The Request for Proposal for managing the current
"Education Fellows" Program has been released by JPL. Also STARDUST is
supporting the NASA Office of Space Science Exhibit at the California
Science Teachers Association Conference in Long Beach, California which
expects to have over 20,000 participants.
In the area of Technology Transfer, the production of carbon aerogel
for testing of the Mars Non-Ablative Aeroshell has begun. A new
technique for accomplishing the gelation of the precursor
resorcinol-formaldehyde organic wet gels has been developed.
For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample
return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: