Mission Status 2009
Tim Larson Stardust Spacecraft Team
December 16, 2009
The spacecraft is operating nominally in cruise mode. The final predicts for the phase of comet Tempel 1 at arrival in February 2011 will be presented to the project on January 7 to support a decision on TCM28 in February 2010 that will set the arrival time.
December 9, 2009
The spacecraft is in cruise mode and operating nominally. The comet rotation modeling for Tempel-1 continues, and will present their predictions at a meeting on January 7,8 2010. This will lead to a project decision on the magnitude of the Time of Arrival adjustment implemented during TCM28 in February 2010.
December 2, 2009
The spacecraft is healthy, however the latest communication pass on December 1 showed that the spacecraft was in safe mode. The cause of the safe mode entry was an interaction between the wide deadbanding attitude controller in use and the attitude fault monitor under the current cruise conditions. This resulted in a condition where the spacecraft attitude was within the control limits, but the fault monitor, using an independent calculation method, falsely indicated an attitude error. The safe mode recovery was completed on 12/02 and the spacecraft will proceed in earth point attitude with tighter controller limits that will prevent this condition from repeating. 1.
November 18, 2009
The spacecraft continues in cruise mode with all subsystems nominal. The next planned communication with the spacecraft is on December 1.
November 11, 2009
The spacecraft is in cruise mode and all subsystems are healthy and operating as expected. The comet rotation modeling effort is progressing, with the goal of predicting the phase of the comet at encounter. This will guide the decision on January 2010 on how to design the TCM 28/Time of Arrival maneuver that is scheduled to be executed in February 2010.
November 4, 2009
The spacecraft is healthy. The safe mode recovery was completed on November 2, and the spacecraft is back in nominal cruise mode with the background sequence active. The cause of the safe mode entry was an attitude knowledge fault due to an interruption in communications between the PACI (Payload/Attitude Control Interface) card and the star camera. The fault response sequence cleared the fault during the safing process. This signature is the same as a previous safe mode entry in 2003. At that time, the cause was attributed to a single event upset on the PACI card due to a large solar event that affected several spacecraft. No unusual solar activity was reported this time, and the investigation into the cause of this anomaly continues.