Stardust Status Report
November 14, 2003
The Stardust team had six periods of communications with the spacecraft in
the past week. Telemetry relayed from the spacecraft remains in very good
shape as it approaches its date with Comet Wild 2.
Over the past week, the spacecraft's first approach optical navigation
images were taken. From now until December these images will be taken twice
a week, then their frequency will increase until after encounter. Though
Comet Wild 2 is not expected to make an appearance in these early images,
they will be used to test planning, commanding, downlink telemetry and
ground processing of Stardust images.
The Stardust navigation camera took two long exposure star images recently.
They were taken using two different shutter open modes. The images indicate
both shutter modes are working perfectly and providing star images down to
11th visual magnitude. The latest image taken using the camera's
calibration lamp was not successful. The Stardust science team is reviewing
the need for a Calibration Lamp image before encounter.
In preparation for Stardust's Comet Wild 2 Flyby, Wild 2 Flyby Critical Events
Readiness Reviews were successfully completed with Navigation, with the
Deep Space Mission Systems and with the Multi Mission Office Ground Data System.
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: