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STARDUST Status Report

December 17, 1999

There were two scheduled Deep Space Network (DSN) passes this week with the STARDUST spacecraft, and all onboard subsystems are performing normally. No additional Payload Attitude Control Interface (PACI) resets were observed during this time period. Data collection of this activity is ongoing. Commands were sent to perform a check of all onboard files to compare with the Spacecraft Test Laboratory (STL) files to verify STL fidelity.

Preparations for the first Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-A) are in progress. A trade was made between performing TCM-A as near as possible to Deep Space Maneuver 1 (DSM-1) with marginal communications or a totally inefficient TCM but with excellent communication. The inefficient TCM was ruled out because of potential mission risk of lowering tank pressure below an acceptable level for Attitude Control System (ACS) control authority during the Comet Wild 2 flyby in 2004.

TCM-A will be an 11-meter/second burn (approximately 5 minutes 11 seconds) and will verify the spacecraft's ability to perform a TCM and in the exact configuration for DSM-1 which will be 170 m/s. This maneuver will be performed on December 28 at 08:30 MST.

The commands to perform the first battery conditioning are in STL testing.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory awarded a $500,000 contract for the Solar System Educators Program to Space Explorers, Inc. in Lawrence, Wisconsin and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium in Hampton, Virginia. The program is designed to provide teachers with materials and skills necessary to increase the science and math performance of students throughout the country by engaging them in Solar System Exploration, including STARDUST.

Education and Public Outreach participated in a special education program highlighting STARDUST. The program was held in Wyoming at the school where educator Paul Crips was awarded the Christa McAuliffe Teacher of the Year honor.

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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