- Press Release
- Sep 27, 2022
Stardust Status Report 13 October 2000
There were three Deep Space Network passes the past week. As
reported last week, the spacecraft went into safe-mode during a
scheduled track with the Canberra tracking station (DSS-45).
During an added track on Thursday, the
spacecraft turned on the downlink as expected. Data was collected
for quick analysis and a decision to exit safe mode was made
within the 24-hour window. On Friday October 6, during our
scheduled track, the spacecraft returned to standard operation
when it was put into normal cruise mode and the background
sequence was re-started. Attitude reference was performed by
Inertial Motion Units (gyroscopes) rather than all stellar. This was a
precaution until the cause of safe-mode could be better
understood. On Tuesday, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA)
reported that they were able to duplicate the safe-mode in the
test lab. For temperature control purposes the processor was
running at 10 MHz. The freshly uplinked background sequence was
processing and Navigation Camera images were playing back. An
attitude image read error occurred, and caused a safe mode entry.
The spacecraft team at LMA is investigating the logic that produces
error messages to cause a request for safe mode.
The track on October 11 was routine. In a regular maintenance
sequence, the spacecraft was commanded to change the solar panel
output from parallel to series to ensure proper battery charging
rates as the solar range changes.
The spacecraft is operating in sequence SC023, and planning for
sequence 024 is underway at 10 MHz.
For more information on the STARDUST mission – the first ever
comet sample return mission – please visit the STARDUST home page: