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Mission Status 2009

Tim Larson Stardust Spacecraft Team

February 4, 2009
All spacecraft subsystems continue to operate nominally. The spacecraft is entering a communications blackout period that will last until March 19. This is due to the sun-spacecraft-earth angle. February 7 marks the tenth anniversary of the Stardust launch.

January 28, 2009
Two weeks after the Earth Gravity Assist the spacecraft continues to operate nominally. Communication with the spacecraft is currently through the LGA. This will continue until February 7, when the range will exceed the capability of the LGA, and the MGA will not be available due to the sun-spacecraft-earth angle. This blackout period will last until March 19, when the angle becomes favorable. The command loss timer and other parameters have been updated to accommodate this period.

January 21, 2009

The spacecraft is in good shape after last week's EGA. All subsystems are operating as expected, and navigation data continues to be collected. Based on the latest OD solutions, TCM 26, scheduled for February 3 will not be necessary and has been cancelled.

January 14, 2009
All subsystems are nominal after a busy week. The Moon images were acquired with and without the periscope. The images show that the periscope was not affected by the dust field during the Wild-2 encounter, and will be usable for the Tempel-1 encounter in 2011. The spacecraft successfully went through the EGA on January 14, with the closest approach occurring at approximately 19:30 UTC over the California – Mexico border, with a closest approach of approximately 9200 km. The spacecraft is now on its way to comet Tempel 1. The next TCM is planned for February 3.

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