Stardust-NEXT Mission Status Report
August 29, 2007
Stardust continues its quiescent cruise. All subsystems are
nominal. There have been five DSN contact passes since the previous
report. Passes are configured to provide ranging data for
Navigation in support of the upcoming Deep Space Maneuver.
The second background sequence has been prepared and will begin
executing next week.
The Deep Space Maneuver (TCM-21) is scheduled to execute on
September 19 and is a 5 m/s burn. This maneuver will place the
spacecraft on a trajectory to perform an Earth Gravity Assist in
The Stardust-NExT (New Exploration of Tempel 1) mission is to flyby
the comet Tempel 1 on February 14, 2011 in order to obtain high
resolution images of the coma and nucleus, as well as measurements
of the composition, size distribution, and flux of dust emitted into
the coma. We have developed a reliable plan to update knowledge of
the rotational phase of the comet sufficiently well to have a high
probability of viewing significant portions of the hemisphere
studied by Deep Impact (DI) in 2005 and a high probability of
imaging the crater made by its impactor. The impact event produced
so much ejecta that DI did not succeed in imaging the crater.