- Press Release
- Sep 26, 2022
Stardust Status Report 13 November 2000
The Stardust spacecraft is successfully communicating with Earth and all
subsystems onboard the spacecraft are operating normally.
At 06:45 GMT on Wednesday, November 8, and before the next scheduled DSN
(Deep Space Network) pass at 8:45 GMT on Thursday, November 9, the Stardust
spacecraft went into safe mode. The cause of the safe mode was apparently due
to the loss of spacecraft attitude from the star camera’s inability to match
star patterns. The spacecraft engineering team is investigating whether the
problem with the star camera is related to a very large solar flare which
occurred at about 23:00 GMT on Wednesday 08 November.
On Monday, November 13, commands were sent to take the spacecraft out of
safe mode and back into its normal cruise operating mode. This operation was
successfully completed and the Stardust spacecraft is out of safe mode and
operating normally. Currently, we are on IMU’s (Initial Measuring Unit)
with the star camera position updates, and the High Gain Antenna (HGA)
is pointed towards Earth for uplink/downlink activities for the
remainder of today’s scheduled DSN pass.
The Stardust Flight Team will continue monitoring the spacecraft to ensure
there are no residual effects from the solar flare and will begin
preparing for the next expected trajectory correction maneuver scheduled
for early next week.
For more information on the STARDUST mission – the first ever comet
sample return mission – please visit the STARDUST home page: