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: