- Press Release
- Jun 6, 2023
Stardust Status Report January 11, 2000
The Trajectory Correction Maneuver A (TCM-A) was performed nearly flawless on December 28, with
less than one-sigma errors in both maneuver magnitude and pointing. The timeline was followed to the
second, and communication was re-established with the spacecraft after the maneuver as planned. All
subsystems performed as predicted with the battery discharge being 3% less than predicted. An
apparent 3 cm shift in the spacecraft center of mass location from the pre-launch model was
observed and is under study.
A review of TCM-A was held with independent peer reviewers participating as part of the preparation
for Deep Space Maneuver-1 (DSM-1). It was decided to perform this maneuver in three parts, on
January 18, 20 and 22. The timeline for DSM-1 was reviewed and the process of exchanging data files
between navigation, maneuver and the spacecraft team has begun.
The Flight Software (FSW) patch needed to go to All-Stellar attitude was commanded to the
spacecraft on January 3, and the spacecraft was placed in Dual Mode and then All-Stellar mode for a
few hours to monitor the performance of the FSW patch. A few multiple firings of the Attitude Control
System (ACS) jets were recorded which the patch was supposed to fix. Therefore, the spacecraft did
not transition to All-Stellar attitude this week, but the flight team will repeat the Dual Mode and
All-Stellar tests and Spacecraft Test Laboratory (STL) testing to determine why the patch allowed
multiple firings. This will delay going All-Stellar until after DSM-1.
For more information on the STARDUST mission – the first ever
comet sample return mission – please visit the STARDUST home page: