http://apollo-society.org/spaceupdate.html

SPACE UPDATE
30 April 2000

Contents

Top Story

Living in Space


Robotic Space Exploration

Planetary Probe Updates
(Ordered chronologically by launch date)


Space Update

is a service of

THE
APOLLO
SOCIETY

P.O. Box 61206
Honolulu, HI
96839-1206

WWW:
apollo-society.org

EMAIL:
capcom@apollo-society.org

Gregory A. Smith
Editor

Chris Peterson
Associate Editor

Dale M. Gray
(Frontier Historical Consultants) Contributor


 Archive
TOP STORY

Shuttle Launch Delayed until May 18

Launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on a mission to the International Space Station has been delayed until at least May 18. Three launch attempts in late April were cancelled because of bad weather either at the Florida launch site or at potential emergency landing areas. Facilities at Cape Canaveral are now needed for the launch of several satellites. May 18 is the earliest date for another shuttle launch attempt. Atmospheric drag continues to lower the orbit of the ISS. If the shuttle is not able to launch soon to boost its orbit, the space station will need to use some of its own limited fuel supply to raise itself to a safe altitude.

Source: (CNN.com space)
NASA: Atlantis launch off until May 18

See more in the Space Shuttle status report below.

Living in Space
MIR

MIR CORE LAUNCHED
February 19, 1986

Current Mir Location:
Earth Orbit, ~390km altitude

ABANDONED
28 August 1999

REBOARDED
06 April 2000

CURRENT MIR CREW:
Sergei Zalyotin
Alexander Kaleri

Upcoming Mir Events

MirCorp has slated another flight to Mir later this year as investors have committed to a second round of funding. The second mission will bring hardware to Mir to set up an Internet portal in space for data content delivery. (MirCorp)


Mir Reference Pages

MirCorp
www.mirstation.com

HoustonChronical.com: Space Central
Russian Space Station Mir

www.chron.com
/content/interactive/space/missions/mir

CNN SCI-TECH NEWS
Mir facts at a glance

cnn.com/TECH/space/9908/27/mir.facts

MAXIMOV ONLINE:
MIR Current Status

www.maximov.com/Mir/mircurrent.asp

NASA Office of Space Flight - MIR www.hq.nasa.gov/osf/mir

Liftoff - MIR Station
liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/rsa/mir.html

CNN SCI-TECH NEWS (SOYUZ)
cnn.com/TECH/9707/mir/soyuz

The Soyuz-TM ferry & lifeboat www.hq.nasa.gov/osf/mir/soyuz.html

Keep Mir Alive
www.space-frontier.org/PROJECTS/MIR

Encyclopedia Astronautica
www.friends-partners.org/~mwade/spaceflt.htm

MIR CURRENT STATUS
11 April 2000

Mir

Mir Mission Extended

As the cosmonauts opened the door to the Mir station, MirCorp President Jeffrey Manber announced that they had secured a second round of financing. Investments from Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria and Gold & Appel have made possible a second manned mission in September and an extension of the current mission beyond the original 40 days. The additional capital assures that the station will stay in orbit and will be renovated for commercial use.
- Frontier Status 04/07/00 - By Dale M. Gray (Frontier Historical Consultants)

On Thursday, April 6, cosmonauts Sergei Zalyotin and Alexander Kaleri docked their Soyuz spacecraft with the Mir space station, which had been unoccupied for 223 days. This is the first ever human spaceflight funded by a private organization, MirCorp. The Netherlands-based company hopes to earn money from a variety of activities including advertising, conducting scientific experiments under contract, and perhaps even tourism. This mission is expected to last at least 45 days, but will probably be extended if additional funding is provided by MirCorp.

Source: Cosmonauts back on board Mir
www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/space/04/06/soyuz.mir.02/
- CNN.com

See also:
 Private company steps in to try to keep Mir alive
by Houstoncronical.com

Updated: 6 April 2000 - by Chris Peterson
& 11 April 2000 - by Gregory A. Smith

 Back UP to the top of SPACE UPDATE
SPACE SHUTTLE

Upcoming Space Shuttle Flights

MISSION--ORBITER--LAUNCH

STS-101 -- Atlantis -- 18 May 2000
STS-106 -- Atlantis -- 19 August 2000
STS-92 -- Discovery -- TBD


Space Shuttle Reference Pages

SHUTTLE COUNTDOWN ONLINE
www.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/

Kennedy Space Center
Space Shuttle Status Report
www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov
/kscpao/status/stsstat/current.htm

Upcoming Space Shuttle Launches
www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao
/schedule/schedule.htm

NASA Human Spaceflight
spaceflight.nasa.gov
/index-n.html

STS News Reference Manual
www.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle /technology/sts-newsref/stsref-toc.html


Space Shuttle Info Bytes

STS SPECS:
Crew Capacity: 8 (10 could be carried in an emergency)
Max Acceleration Load < 3Gs.
Orbital Altitude: 100 to 217 nautical miles.
Cargo bay dimensions: 15 feet diameter, 60 feet long.
Basic Mission Length: 7 days in space


ORBITERS:

Enterprise (OV-101): used for Approach and Landing Tests, the Enterprise now is property of the Smithsonian Institution and is at Dulles Airport, Virginia.
Columbia (OV-102): the first operational orbiter, STS-1 first launched on 12 April 1981. Columbia has completed 26 flights to date. The space shuttle Columbia was named after a sloop captained by Robert Gray. In May 1792, Gray maneuvered the ship through perilous inland waters to explore the Pacific Northwest.
Challenger (OV-099): the second orbiter, flew 10 missions between 1983 and 1986 for a combined total of 69 days in space. On January 28, 1986, Challenger and her crew were lost in a launch accident.
Discovery (OV-103): the third orbiter, Discovery has flown 26 missions since its maiden voyage on August 30, 1984.
Atlantis: (OV-104): Atlantis has flown 20 missions since its first launch on October 3, 1985. Atlantis is currently being upgraded and is scheduled to return to KSC on August 24, 1998.
Endeavour: (OV-105): Replacing the Challenger and completing the 4-orbiter space shuttle fleet, Endeavour has flown 14 missions since its first launch on May 5, 1992.


SPACE SHUTTLE CURRENT STATUS
30 April 2000


Shuttle Launch Delayed until May 18

Launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on a mission to the International Space Station has been delayed until at least May 18. Three launch attempts in late April were cancelled because of bad weather either at the Florida launch site or at potential emergency landing areas. Facilities at Cape Canaveral are now needed for the launch of several satellites. May 18 is the earliest date for another shuttle launch attempt. Atmospheric drag continues to lower the orbit of the ISS. If the shuttle is not able to launch soon to boost its orbit, the space station will need to use some of its own limited fuel supply to raise itself to a safe altitude.

Source: (CNN.com space)
NASA: Atlantis launch off until May 18

NEXT SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION:

MISSION STS-101
(Coundown page)

ORBITER: Atlantis (OV-104)

TARGET KSC LAUNCH DATE/TIME:
May 18, 2000 (TBD)

TARGET KSC LANDING DATE/TIME:
TBD

LAUNCH WINDOW:5 minutes
MISSION DURATION: 9 days, 19 hours

PAYLOAD:
ISS third flight (2A.2a)
SPACEHAB Double Module/ICC

Crew:

James D. Halsell, Jr. (5) Mission Commander
Scott J. Horowitz (3), Pilot
Mary Ellen Weber (2), Mission Specialist
Jeffrey N. Williams (1), Mission Specialist
James S. Voss (4), Mission Specialist
Susan J. Helms (4), Mission Specialist
Yuri Vladimirovich Usachev (3), (RUSSIA) Mission Specialist

Mission STS-101 will be the first Shuttle flight to the International Space Station (ISS) in almost a year. Six Americans and one Russian will spend six days docked to the Station to conduct maintenance work on the Unity and Zarya modules and to transfer a ton of logistical supplies for use by the first resident crew which will occupy the ISS later this year.


Previous Space Shuttle mission:

STS-99 (Countdown Page)

Mission Objectives:
Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM)
EarthKAM

Shuttle: Endeavour (OV-105)
Launch Pad: 39-A
Launch: Feb. 11, 2000 12:43 EST
Launch Window: 2 hours 10 minutes
Landing: Feb. 22, 2000 6:22pm EST
Duration: 11 days, 4 hours

Updated: 30 April 2000 - by Chris Peterson

 Back UP to the top of SPACE UPDATE

INTERNATIONAL
SPACE STATION


Space Station Information

FIRST ELEMENT LAUNCHED
Nov 20, 1998

Total Crew Size = 6
Altitude: 190 to 230 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: ~ 51.6 degrees
Total pressurized volume:
~ 46,200 cubic feet

Where is the ISS?
In Orbit
Apogee: 246 miles / Perigee: 233 miles

NASA REALTIME Orbital Tracking


ISS ASSEMBLY SEQUENCE
(June 1999 Planning Reference)


ISS Partners:

Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, United Kingdom, United States


International Space Station Reference Pages

NASA International Space Station
spaceflight.nasa.gov/station

Space Station Status Reports
NASA SPACE NEWS
spaceflight.nasa.gov
/spacenews/reports

Technology: Space Stations - Past, Present and Future
MSNBC
www.msnbc.com/news/spacestat_front.asp

City in Space
CNN Interactive
cnn.com/SPECIALS/space/station

ISS Assembly Sequence
spaceflight.nasa.gov
/station/assembly/flights/chron.html

NASA ISS Media Library
spaceflight.nasa.gov
/gallery/images/station

International Space Station
Research Plan

www.hq.nasa.gov/office/olmsa/ISS

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION STATUS
15 March 2000

The next Space Shuttle flight, mission STS-101, to launch on April 13, 2000, will be the first Shuttle flight to the International Space Station in almost a year. Six Americans and one Russian will spend six days docked to the Station to conduct maintenance work on the Unity and Zarya modules and to transfer a ton of logistical supplies for use by the first resident crew which will occupy the ISS later this year. - NASA Station Status - March 9, 2000


The Zvezda Service Module

The Zvezda Service Module will be launched atop a Proton rocket to serve as the early living quarters for the first permanent residents of the ISS and will take over control and propulsion capability for the expanding station from the Zarya module which was launched in November 1999.

About 9 days after the launch of the Zvezda module, the ISS will link up with Zvezda using Zarya's jet thrusters during a series of rendezvous maneuvers.

Updated: 15 March 2000 - by Gregory A. Smith


NASA's chief Daniel Goldin, speaking at the Space Frontier Foundation Conference September 24, announced a new plan for NASA to turn operation of the Space Station over to private enterprise -- perhaps within the next decade.

After a period of five to ten years of operation, NASA would be willing to hand its portion of the station over to private industry. The move would free NASA to concentrate on exploring the solar system. NASA would retain a major presence on the station, but as a tenant. Under NASA's current plan, NASA retains control of the station while leasing up to 30 percent or more of the station to commercial ventures. - Excerpt from FRONTIER STATUS 09/24/99 - by Dale M. Gray
with permission
Frontier Status reports are weekly updates chronicling progress of the emerging space frontier. Frontier Status archives are hosted at www.cortesi.com/frontier


The International Space Station on-orbit assembly began with the successful completion of Space Shuttle Endeavour's mission to connect the first two elements of the station. Mission STS-88, also known as Assembly Flight 2A, completed its mission to connect the U.S. built "Unity" module to the Russian built "Zarya" (Sunrise) Control Module in December, 1998.

Zarya was successfully launched by the Russians on November 20, 1998, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, not far from where Yuri Gagarin became the first human to be launched into space over 37 years ago.

- by Gregory A. Smith

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Robotic Space Exploration
Planetary Probe Updates
SPACECRAFT
STATUS
Galileo
Jupiter orbiter and atmospheric probe

Launched
18 October 1989
(From the Space Shuttle Atlantis)

Jupiter Arrival:
7 December 1995

Galileo Jupiter Orbit Tour graphic
Jun 96 - Nov 97

Galileo Europa Mission (GEM)
7 Dec 1997 - 31 Dec 1999

Galileo Millennium Mission
31 Dec 1999 - 31 Dec 2000


Upcoming Galileo Events

Ganymede flybys
Ganymede 28: 20 May 2000
Ganymede 29: 28 December 2000
&
Joint observations of Jupiter with the Cassini spacecraft in December 2000.


Galileo
Reference Pages

Galileo Home Page
www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo

Galileo News and Events
www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/news.html

Galileo Europa Mission (GEM)
www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/gem

Galileo Europa Mission Fact Sheet
www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/gem/fact.html

Galileo - Countdown
www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/countdown

Galileo SSI & NIMS Data Sets Planetary Image Atlas
Plantetary Data System
www-pdsimage.jpl.nasa.gov
/cgi-bin/Nav/GLL_search.pl

GALILEO EUROPA MISSION STATUS
15 March 2000

The Galileo spacecraft has completed its prime mission, its first extended mission and has now begun its second extended mission called the "Galileo Millennium Mission."

The Future of the Galileo Mission

NASA Headquarters has agreed in principle to extend the Galileo mission past its planned January 31 finale. Details of funding and itinerary for the new extended mission, to be called the Galileo Millennium Mission, must still be resolved. A Europa encounter took place January 3, 2000, and is technically still part of the current, extended Galileo Europa Mission. Another Io flyby is planned for February 20, with flybys of Ganymede on May 20 and December 28, and joint observations of Jupiter with the Cassini spacecraft in December 2000.
- "Galileo News" - January 3, 2000

Updated: 15 March 2000 - by Gregory A. Smith


Model of Europa's Subsurface Structure

Mars Global Surveyor
Mars orbiter

Launched:
7 November 1996

Mars Arrival:
12 September 1997

Start of Mapping Mission:
8 March 1999 End of Primary Mission:
January 2001 End of Data Relay Mission:
January 2003


Mars Global Surveyor
Reference Pages

Mars Global Surveyor Home Page
mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs

MGS Current Mission Status Reports
mpfwww.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/status/status.html

MGS Current Orbit Display
marsnt3.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/realtime/orbit.html

Mars Global Surveyor (NSSDC)
nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/marsurv.html

Mars Exploration Program
mars.jpl.nasa.gov

MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR STATUS
15 March 2000


MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-220, 12 March 2000

Dust Devils Steaking Across Mars

    Spacecraft Health:
    "All subsystems are reporting nominal health."
    - MGS Mission Status Report,
    Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Updated: 15 March 2000 - by Gregory A. Smith


Mars Global Surveyor
Science Instruments

(NSSDC Master Catalog)


Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous
(NEAR)

NEAR Shoemaker

Launch:
17 February 1996

Asteroid 253 Mathilde Encounter:
27 June 1997

Earth Swing-by (images)
23 January 1998

Asteroid 433 Eros Rendevous:
14 February 2000

END OF MISSION
14 February 2001


Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous
Reference Pages

NEAR Home Page
near.jhuapl.edu

Mission Status
near.jhuapl.edu/status/index.html

Near Mission Timeline
near.jhuapl.edu
/mission/timeline_00jan05.html

Asteroid 433 Eros Summary
near.jhuapl.edu
/eros/sum.html

"The Educator's Guide to NEAR"
near.jhuapl.edu
/NEAR/Education/


NEAR EARTH ASTEROID RENDEZVOUS STATUS
15 March 2000


Glimpses into Eros' shadows
Near Image of the day for 14 March 2000

This image mosaic, showing Eros' saddle and a shadowed feature to its left, was taken from a distance of 204 km (127 miles). In this picture features as small as 20 meters (65 feet) are visible.

NEAR spacecraft renamed in honor of planetary science pioneer Dr. Eugene M. Shoemaker.

The NEAR satellite continued to operate nominally this past week in orbit around the asteroid Eros.

NEAR is in a 200.6 Km by 209.1 Km orbit around Eros. NEAR will stay in this orbit conducting Science observations until April 2,2000 when an Orbit Correction Maneuver will place NEAR in a 200 Km x 100 Km transfer orbit. - MISSION OPERATIONS: March 10, 2000

Updated: 15 March 2000 - by Gregory A. Smith

Lunar Prospector
Lunar orbiter

Launch:
6 January 1998

Lunar Arrival:
9 January 1998

End of Mission:
31 July 1999


Lunar Prospector
Reference Pages

Lunar Prospector Home Page
lunarprospector.arc.nasa.gov

Lunar Prospector Science Results
lunarprospector.arc.nasa.gov/science/results

Lunar Prospector (NSSDC)
nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunarprosp.html

Lunar Prospector Data Visualization
lunarprospector.arc.nasa.gov/dataviz/

LUNAR PROSPECTOR

The completely successful Lunar Prospector mission ended July 31, 1999 after mapping the Moon's geochemistry from orbit and delivering the ashes of renowned planetary scientist Eugene M. Shoemaker to the surface of the Moon. The spacecraft ended its mission with a targeted impact in a permanently shadowed crater near the south pole, at -87.7 deg latitude, 42 deg longitude.

SPACE UPDATE will continue to provide links and updates regarding the ongoing scientific analysis of data garnered from the Lunar Prospector mission for one year from the end of mission.


On March 5th, 1998 Lunar Prospector project scientist announced that the Lunar Prospector had returned data that indicates that there is a high probability of water ice existing at both the north and south poles of the Moon. The presence of a significant amount of water on the Moon could be important in the establishment of human communities beyond Earth.

See the CNN SCI-TECH article on Lunar Prospector's ice discovery at: CNN SCI-TECH Space - 05 March 1998 - Scientist: There is ice on the moon

For more information about ice on the Moon, check out the article "Ice on the Bone Dry Moon" by Dr. Paul D. Spudis in "Planetary Science Research Discoveries"

Also, check out the way cool Lunar Prospector "Data Viz" data visualization page.

Cassini/Huygens
Saturn orbiter / Titan lander

Launch:
15 October 1997

Saturn Arrival:
1 July 2004

Huygens Probe Titan Arrival:
27 November 2004

Gravity Assist Planetary Swingbys

Venus: 21 April 1998
Venus: 20 June 1999
Earth: 16 August 1999
Jupiter: 30 December 2000

Cassini Interplanetary Trajectory www.jpl.nasa.gov
/cassini/Mission/pix/trajectory_lg.gif

Where is Cassini Now?


Cassini/Huygens
Reference Pages

Cassini Mission Home Page (JPL)
www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini

Cassini Weekly Significant Events
www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini/MoreInfo/sigevents

Cassini Press Releases/Status Reports www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini/MoreInfo/press.html

Cassini (NSSDC)
nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/cassini.html

Huygens Probe (NSSDC)
nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/huygens.html


CASSINI/HUYGENS STATUS
16 March 2000

This week an Orbiter Science Operations Working Team (OSOWT) telecon was held to focus on the period from -10 days to Jupiter closest approach. Science Teams were assigned to develop the detailed designs for observations to be made during the December flyby of Jupiter.

During the upcomping Jupiter flyby, the Cassini spacecraft will make coordinated measurements with the Galileo spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter.


The Cassini spacecraft will arrive on orbit around Saturn in 2004. Cassini will study the great ringed planet, its moons and ring system for at least four years. It will also deliver a scientific probe called Huygens which will parachute to the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Updated: 16 March 2000 - by Gregory A. Smith
Nozomi (Hope) (Planet-B)
Japanese Mars aeronomy orbiter

Launch:
3 July 1998

Mars Arrival:
December 2003


Nozomi
Reference Pages

Planet-B Home Page (ISAS/Japan)
www.planet-b.isas.ac.jp/index-e.html

Planet-B Orbit
www.planet-b.isas.ac.jp/index-e.html

Planet-B (NSSDC)
nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov
/cgi-bin/database/www-nmc?98-041A

Nozomi's Earth & Moon Image komadori.planet.kobe-u.ac.jp
/~inada/MIC/0718_e.html

Nozomi Instrument List
nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov
/cgi-bin/database/www-nmc?98-041A-__

Mars Imaging Camera
Neutral Mass Spectrometer

Thermal Plasma Analyzer

Mars Dust Counter

Radio Science Experiment

Plasma Waves and Sounder

Low Frequency Plasma Wave Analyzer

Ion Mass Imager

Magnetic Field Investigation

Electron Temperature Probe

Ultra-Violet Imaging Photometer

Electron Spectrum Analyzer

Energetic Ion Spectrometer

Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer

NOZOMI (HOPE) (PLANET-B) STATUS
17 March 2000


Earth and Moon, by Nozomi

On July 18, 1998, the Nozomi spacecraft took its first picture, a beautiful image of the Earth and Moon.

The Japanese "Nozomi" Mars probe was successfully launched on July 3, 1998 from the Kagoshima space center in Japan. Unfortunately, the spacecraft used more propellant than planned in a course correction maneuver on 21 December 1998 after a 20 December Earth flyby left the craft with "insufficient acceleration". The good news is: Nozomi will reach Mars. The bad news: the arrival of Nozomi at Mars has been delayed four years from its originally scheduled rendezvous in 1999. The spacecraft will continue in a heliocentric orbit until it encounters Mars in December of 2003.

Nozomi is the first Japanese space mission to Mars. It is also the first non-U.S. or Russian space flight to another body in the solar system.


A Mars orbiting aeronomy mission, Nozomi is designed to study the martian upper atmosphere and its interaction with the solar wind. Instruments on the spacecraft will measure the structure, composition and dynamics of the ionosphere, aeronomy effects of the solar wind, the escape of atmospheric constituents, the structure of the magnetosphere, and dust in the upper atmosphere and in orbit around Mars. The mission will also be returning images of Mars' surface and the martian moons Phobos and Deimos.

The nominal mission is planned for one Martian year (approximately two Earth years). An extended mission may allow operation of the mission well beyond the original two years.

Updated: 17 March 2000 - by Gregory A. Smith

Deep Space 1
Asteroid, Comet flyby

Launch Date:
24 October 1998

Fly-by Target:
Near Earth Asteroid 9969 Braille

Fly-by Date:
28 July 1999

Demonstration Mission End:
October 1999

Extented Mission Targets
Comet Borrelly
Arrival: September 2001


Deep Space 1
Reference Pages

Deep Space 1 Home Page
nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1

Deep Space 1 Status Reports
www.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1news

Deep Space 1 Quick Facts
nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1/quick_facts.html

New Millenium Program
nmp.jpl.nasa.gov

DEEP SPACE 1 STATUS
17 March 2000

Deep Space 1 mission controllers have developed means to point DS1 without the use of its faulty Star Tracker. Once the new method of pointing the main antenna at Earth was developed the DS1 team was able to point the spacecraft toward Earth in January 2000 and download infrared observations of Mars made by DS1 in November 1999. The observations are believed to be the best of their kind ever collected.

Now that DS1 is again operable, its mission has been extended to encounter Comet Borrelly in September 2001.

The DS1 Technology Validation Symposium was held in Pasadena, California February 8-9, 2000. Access to the Proceedings are available at DS1 Technology Validation Symposium Proceedings

Updated: 17 March 2000 - by Gregory A. Smith


Deep Space One is the first deep space mission of NASA's New Millennium Program. Deep Space 1 is a New Millennium Program (NMP) demonstration project to validate advanced technologies while returning science data. Deep Space 1's mission was to test important, high-risk technologies in order to reduce the cost and risk of future science missions; "DS1 took the risks so that future missions would not have to." - Dr. Mark Raymond's Mission Log

Stardust
Comet Wild-2 sample return

Launch:
7 February 1999

Comet Wild-2 Rendezvous:
January 2004

Earth Return:
January 2006


Stardust
Reference Pages

Stardust Home Page
stardust.jpl.nasa.gov

Stardust (NSSDC)
nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov
/cgi-bin/database/www-nmc?99-003A

Dust Collector &
Sample Return Capsule

stardust.jpl.nasa.gov
/spacecraft/capsule.html

Where is STARDUST now?
stardust.jpl.nasa.gov
/spacecraft/scnow.html


STARDUST STATUS
24 April 2000

Catching Star Dust

"There was one Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking pass during the past week and the spacecraft performance remains normal.

STARDUST Status Report - April 21, 2000


On 1 May 2000, aerogel interstellar dust grain collector onboard the Stardust spacecraft will return to its stowed position for safe storage after having collected interstellar dust since it was exposed to space on February 22, 2000. In mid-2002 another period of interstellar dust collection is scheduled.

The dust samples will be brought to Earth for analysis in January 2006.


See an article on the Stardust mission at:
Interstellar Dust in the Wind by NASA Science News

Updated: 24 April 2000 - by Gregory A. Smith


The primary goal of the Stardust mission is to collect dust and volatile samples of Comet Wild 2, and samples of interstellar dust grains, and return the samples to Earth for analysis. The spacecraft will also send back images of the comet, counts of comet particles striking the spacecraft and conduct real-time analysis of the compositions of the particles and volatiles.

Stardust will use a unique substance called aerogel to capture and preserve the cometary and interstellar materials for return to Earth.

Stardust will be the first space mission ever to return extraterrestrial material from beyond the orbit of the Moon. Stardust is also the first U.S. mission dedicated solely to cometary research.

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For information regarding upcoming robotic missions, see:
Space Update - Planned Planetary Missions


SPACEUPDATE is a service of

THE APOLLO SOCIETY

The Apollo Society is a non-profit educational and scientific research organization dedicated to the advancement of space exploration and the establishment of human communities beyond Earth.

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SPACEUPDATE is a copyright of The Apollo Society. (C)1997-2000 The Apollo Society. All rights reserved.
All images are courtesy of NASA unless otherwise noted.