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Latest 81P/Wild Stories

2009-01-13 11:52:00

Stardust-NExT on Its Way to Explore Comet Tempel 1 DENVER, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- On Jan. 14, NASA's Stardust-NExT spacecraft will fly by Earth during a gravity assist maneuver that will increase its velocity and sling shot the spacecraft into an orbit to meet up with comet Tempel 1 in February 2011. Flight operations for the spacecraft are performed from Lockheed Martin's Mission Support Area in Denver, Colo. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. provides the precision...

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2008-11-17 08:55:00

Scientists are tracking the violent convulsions in the giant cloud of gas and dust that gave birth to the solar system 4.5 billion years ago via a few tiny particles from comet Wild 2. These convulsions flung primordial material billions of miles from the hot, inner regions of the gas cloud that later collapsed to form the sun, out into the cold, nether regions of the solar system, where they became incorporated into an icy comet. "If you take a gas of solar composition and let it cool down,...

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2008-10-13 15:10:00

When comet Holmes unexpectedly erupted in 2007, professional and amateur astronomers around the world turned their telescopes toward the spectacular event. Their quest was to find out why the comet had suddenly exploded. Observations taken of the comet after the explosion by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope deepen the mystery, showing oddly behaving streamers in the shell of dust surrounding the nucleus of the comet. The data also offer a rare look at the material liberated from within the...

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2008-09-25 17:35:25

WASHINGTON -- Having returned the world's first particles from a comet, NASA's Stardust sample return capsule will join the collection of flight icons in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington. The capsule will go on public display in the museum's Milestones of Flight Gallery on Oct. 1, the 50th anniversary of NASA. Stardust, comprising a spacecraft and capsule, completed a seven-year, 3-billion-mile journey in 2006. A tennis racket-like, aerogel-lined collector was...

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2008-04-03 16:21:29

Stardust Spacecraft is currently 208 million miles from Earth While their spacecraft's journeys may have taken it more than halfway to Jupiter, members of the Stardust team have lately been doing some roaming of their own. A great deal of the traveling has been to accept awards and receive the accolades of their aerospace and science-oriented peers. Among the honors the Stardust team has received: the Aviation Week & Space Technology Program Excellence Award; the Popular Mechanics'...

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2008-01-24 15:15:00

Contrary to expectations for a small icy body, much of the comet dust returned by the Stardust mission formed very close to the young sun and was altered from the solar system's early materials. When the Stardust mission returned to Earth with samples from the comet Wild 2 in 2006, scientists knew the material would provide new clues about the formation of our solar system, but they didn't know exactly how. New research by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and collaborators...

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2007-09-27 08:42:16

The flash! The dazzle! The front page of the New York Times! Two years ago, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft dropped an 820 lb copper projectile onto Comet Tempel 1, unleashing an explosion that made headlines around the world. Exploding comets tend to have that effect. But how many people know what happened after the blast? The surprising answer is none--not even NASA. Deep Impact's prime mission was to punch a hole in Tempel 1 and look inside, giving researchers their first glimpse of a...

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2007-07-04 00:00:00

LOS ANGELES -- NASA said Tuesday it is recycling two used spacecraft to lead new robotic missions to study comets and planets around other stars. The encore performances of the Deep Impact and Stardust probes allow the space agency to further its solar system exploration for a fraction of the cost it would take to start a mission from scratch. Both spacecraft successfully completed their primary missions to two different comets and their discoveries have helped scientists understand how the...

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2006-12-18 19:30:00

Washington, D.C. "“ Eleven months ago, NASA's Stardust mission touched down in the Utah desert with the first solid comet samples ever retrieved from space. Since then, nearly 200 scientists from around the globe have studied the minuscule grains, looking for clues to the physical and chemical history of our solar system. Although years of work remain to fully decipher the secrets of comet Wild 2, researchers are sure that it contains some of the most primitive and exotic chemical...

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2006-12-14 14:25:00

Just as kits of little plastic bricks can be used to make everything from models of the space shuttle to the statue of liberty, comets are looking more and more like one of nature's toolkits for creating life. These chunks of ice and dust wandering our solar system appear to be filled with organic molecules that are the building blocks of life. The discovery of two kinds of nitrogen-rich organic molecules in comet Wild 2 is the latest addition to the set of bits and pieces useful to the...


Latest 81P/Wild Reference Libraries

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2004-10-19 04:45:41

Comet -- A comet is a small body from the outer reaches of the solar system similar to an asteroid but composed of ice. Often described as "dirty snowballs," they are composed largely of carbon dioxide ice, methane ice, and water ice with a mixture of dust and small stony aggregates mixed in. Comets are thought to be small pieces of debris left over from the formation of the solar system, representing a sample of the original composition of the nebula that condensed to form the Sun and all...

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Word of the Day
baudekin
  • A rich embroidered or brocaded silk fabric woven originally with a warp of gold thread.
'Baudekin' seems to be an alternative form of 'baldachin,' from the Italian 'Baldacco,' Baghdad, the city where the material was made.
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