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Emily LakdawallaMarch 16, 2011

Stardust: Decommissioning planned for March 24

Stardust (probably) has only a week remaining in its operational lifetime, according to a status report just posted to the mission website:

The spacecraft continues its post-encounter cruise. All subsystems continue to operate as expected. The team is preparing for the decommissioning maneuver, and the decommissioning plan has been prepared and reviewed. The primary date for the decommissioning activity is March 24, with a back-up opportunity on April 7. The Decommissioning Review has been scheduled for March 18 at JPL.

Thanks to Steve Silva for the pointer to the web update. Here's a reminder of what it means to decommission a deep spacecraft.

Stardust

NASA / JPL

Stardust

Read more: mission status, Stardust

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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