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Stardust-NEXT Mission Status Report

September 12, 2007

Artist rendition of Stardust approaching Earth Stardust is continuing its quiescent cruise and all subsystems are nominal. There have been many Deep Space Network tracks during the past week.

The project has decided to delay the execution of Deep Space Maneuver 1 (DSM 1) to October 10, 2007 to allow additional tracking and planning time for the development of the maneuver parameters.

An internal meeting was held to assign action items to determine the cause of the EEPROM byte corruption and identify any impacts to spacecraft operation. Since the corruption is in an unused portion of the EEPROM, our initial assessment is no threat to the spacecraft. Our first task is to confirm that assessment. Weekly meeting are scheduled to track the progress.

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.

Last Updated: September 12, 2007
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