Emily LakdawallaJan 22, 2011

Stardust update: Tempel 1 not yet spotted by spacecraft, hopefully next week

A new update has been posted to the Stardust website:

January 19, 2011
The spacecraft continues to operate as expected and all subsystems are healthy on approach to comet Tempel 1. This week the spacecraft started to tip back and forth to the imaging attitude in order to fix the Navcam mirror in a position that results in less scattered light reaching the CCD. This strategy has resulted in much lower background noise. The comet has not yet been detected in the images, and may not be detected for another week yet. The team continues to prepare for the Tempel 1 flyby by completing the tests of the encounter sequences.

A tip of the hat to UnmannedSpaceflight user Paolo for the link!

Stardust artist concept
Stardust artist concept Stardust was the first spacecraft to return a cometary sample and extraterrestrial material to Earth from outside the orbit of the Moon. In 2004, Stardust made a close flyby of comet 81P/Wild (Wild 2), collecting comet and interstellar dust in a substance called aerogel. NASA / JPL / UMD

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