Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 8:45 EDT
Particle Extraction
3 of 55

Particle Extraction

March 2, 2006
This image illustrates one of several ways scientists have begun extracting comet particles from the Stardust spacecraft's collector. First, a particle and its track are cut out of the collector material, called aerogel, in a wedge-shaped slice called a keystone. A specialized silicon pickle fork is then used to remove the keystone from the remaining aerogel for further analysis.