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Mission Status 2009

Tim Larson Stardust Spacecraft Team

August 12, 2009
The communication pass on August 12 found the spacecraft in safe mode. The investigation shows that the safing resulted from a planned attitude walk on August 5 exceeding the roll attitude error threshold. This monitor value should have been adjusted at the beginning of the maneuver, but was missed in the planning analysis. The telemetry indicates all subsystems are healthy and the safe mode recovery commanding is under way and will be completed on August 14. At that time the spacecraft will be configured and pointed in the nominal cruise configuration and attitude.

August 5, 2009
The next planned communication with the spacecraft is on August 12. At that time we will downlink the data from this week's encounter attitude calibration test that will help refine our understanding of the solar torque on the spacecraft at the attitudes we will see during the Tempel-1 encounter. Investigation of the IMU remaining life and its impact on the remainder of the mission is ongoing.

July 29, 2009

The next planned communication with the spacecraft is on August 12. During the next week, the background sequence will place the spacecraft in the attitude it will see during the Tempel 1 approach and flyby, and data will be collected to calibrate the propellant used for pointing control at this attitude. This data will be stored on board and downlinked during the upcoming passes on August 12 and 14. The project continues to investigate the IMU in order to better estimate the remaining expected operating life in the prime unit, and is evaluating ways of minimizing the use of the IMU during the remainder of the mission.

July 22, 2009
The last planned communication with the spacecraft was on July 15. Telemetry showed satisfactory performance of all subsystems. The next planned contact is on August 12. Long term trending of the IMU parameters shows a faster than expected degradation that may indicate less than expected operating life remaining in the unit. An investigation is under way to understand the remaining life on the primary IMU, and to assess the impact on mission operations and any available mitigations.

July 10, 2009
The spacecraft continues in cruise with once per month contacts. The next contact is scheduled for July 14.

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