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Stardust Status Report

June 20, 2003

The Stardust team had six periods 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.

At 2100 Universal Time (2:00 p.m. Pacific Time), Wed., June 18, Stardust fired its eight, 4.4 newton (1 pound) thrusters for a grand total of 1456 seconds, changing the comet sampler's speed by 34.4 meters per second (about 77 miles per hour). As with previous maneuvers of this type, during both burns Stardust's solar panels were placed edge-on to the Sun and the spacecraft operated solely on battery power. This 'textbook' burn, the second in two days, completed the almost seven-year-long mission's third deep space maneuver. The June 18 burn required 6.08 kilograms (13.4 pounds) of hydrazine monopropellant to complete. At launch, the spacecraft carried 85 kilograms (187 pounds) of hydrazine propellant.

Also this past week, Navigation Camera images taken about 1 month ago were successfully transmitted to Earth. The images indicate NavCam performance is still very good.

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:

Last Updated: November 26, 2003
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