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Emily LakdawallaFebruary 15, 2011

All Stardust data is now on Earth

A status update from Stardust posted this afternoon contained welcome news:

Monday Feb 15, E+22 Hours

All encounter data was downlinked and verified uncorrupted in the SDC (Science Data Center). PI [Principal Investigator, Joe Veverka] and DPI [Deputy Principal Investigator, Ken Klaasen] gave go to erase images and begin departure imaging.

The spacecraft has been reconfigured for post-encounter, FP has been re-enabled, and the heap has been reallocated, enabling new images to be acquired.

The departure imaging will start tonight and will continue until PI determines no further useful science is being collected.

Thank you all for your help and support.

Next report -- after decommissioning activities.The flyby data should include a total of 72 images of the comet. From the JPL and NASA Stardust websites I've located a total of 63 images, including all the ones right around closest approach; I'll check one last time for any of the remaining few missing frames (including 20, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30, 44, and 52) before creating and posting a polished version of my flyby animation tomorrow.

Read more: mission status, Stardust

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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