Status Report

Stardust Status Report 20 October 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
October 20, 2000
Filed under

There was one scheduled Deep Space Network (DSN) pass this week. All
subsystems onboard the spacecraft are performing normally.

The spacecraft was successfully commanded to take images of the Pleiades
constellation. A mosaic of images around the Pleiades were taken in 3
rows, 4 images per row, in order to place the stars in 12 different
locations within the camera’s field-of-view. One image at each 12
locations was taken through the navigation filter. A high resolution
filter image was also taken in each row, giving a total of 15 images in
the mosaic. A sixteenth image was taken as a compressed navigation filter
image, which was the first time the navigation camera hardware-compression
feature was used in flight. These images were taken to discover any
distortions in the mirror and primary optics and to determine the inherent
geometric accuracy for optical navigation.

The mosaic was accomplished by slewing the spacecraft attitude to the
start of the first row, then moving the mirror to four positions, each
one-degree apart. The spacecraft was then slewed to a position to
photograph the second and then third row, one degree below the previous
row. The mirror movement was repeated across each row. The initial mirror
angle was 28.2 degrees, ensuring that the images were not taken through
the periscope. The images have been transmitted to Earth and are being
analyzed by navigation and science teams.

After successfully taking the images, the spacecraft was commanded to
all-stellar mode and the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) was powered off.
The next scheduled power on for the IMU is in support of Trajectory
Correction Maneuver 4 on November 14.

The investigation into the cause of the safe mode entry on October 4 is
focusing on why an error in reading the star camera image during
all-stellar mode produces a safe mode response. Spacecraft Test
Laboratory tests show that the same read error does not produce a safe
mode response while in gyro-based mode.

The STARDUST Outreach team participated in the National Science Teachers
Association (NSTA) regional meeting in Idaho and made a presentation on
NASA/JPL E/PO activities and also provided a booth, materials and a
presentation to the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA)
meeting in Sacramento.

For more information on the STARDUST mission – the first ever comet
sample return mission – please visit the STARDUST home page:

SpaceRef staff editor.