Stardust Status Report
May 16, 2003
The Stardust team had one period of communication with the spacecraft in
the past week. Telemetry relayed from the spacecraft indicates it is
healthy and all subsystems continue to operate normally.
The in-flight testing required for Earth Return has been finalized. The
mission's '1 Astronomical Unit Earth Return Testing Design' consists of
three small trajectory correction maneuvers and numerous pitches and rolls
of the Stardust spacecraft. These in-flight activities will be performed to
calibrate the solar pressure and small forces acting on the spacecraft
during its Earth-return cruise phase in 2006. This testing will validate
the spacecraft ability to meet the earth entry accuracy requirements more
than 2 years before Earth return. The testing will be performed this summer
as it is the only time the spacecraft will be at 1 Astronomical Unit (or
about 150 million kilometers) prior to Earth return.
Stardust's Cometary and Interplanetary Dust Analyzer was featured at a data
management and archive meeting at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. A
draft of the Cometary and Interplanetary Dust Analyzer's data archive will
be provided to the Planetary Data System this summer for peer review.
Formal delivery of the actual data is to be made shortly after Stardust's
encounter with Comet Wild 2.
A space exploration documentary produced by Film Oasis highlighting
Stardust and several other NASA missions has been distributed
internationally in France, Australia, Asia, Portugal and Spain and
will be shown in the United States late this year.
The Stardust Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) team, including its Educator
Ambassadors and partner planetariums, participated in several Space
Day activities throughout the United States. JPL Ambassador Bonnie Walters,
from the Mesa Union Elementary School in Camarillo, California, organized
speakers from JPL and other industry partners to speak to over 600 students on
Information on the present position and orbits of the Stardust spacecraft
and Comet Wild 2 may be found on the "Where Is Stardust Right Now?"
web page located at:
For more information on the Stardust mission -- the first ever comet
sample return mission -- please visit the Stardust home page: