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Latest Donald E. Brownlee Stories

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2011-02-13 14:45:00

Stardust NExT must love comets. On Valentine's Day the spacecraft will get up close and personal with its second. It's been seven years since the original Stardust danced with Wild 2 out beyond the orbit of Mars, capturing a thimbleful of comet dust in its collector. It's been five years since the craft jettisoned its sample-return capsule and its precious cargo for a landing in the Utah desert. On Monday the probe will make history again in a 125-mile embrace with comet Tempel 1. It...

2009-08-17 12:34:00

GREENBELT, Md., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO ) "Glycine is an amino acid used by living organisms to make proteins, and this is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet," said Dr. Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Our discovery...

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2009-08-17 12:35:00

NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft. "Glycine is an amino acid used by living organisms to make proteins, and this is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet," said Dr. Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Our discovery supports the theory that some of life's ingredients formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite...

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2008-06-12 15:35:36

NASA researchers and scientists from the United States, Germany and Japan have found a new mineral in material that likely came from a comet.The mineral, a manganese silicide named Brownleeite, was discovered within an interplanetary dust particle, or IDP, that appears to have originated from comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup. The comet originally was discovered in 1902 and reappears every 5 years. The team that made the discovery is headed by Keiko Nakamura-Messenger, a space scientist at NASA's...

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2006-03-14 00:55:00

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON -- Particles from any icy comet that were collected and returned to Earth aboard a NASA science satellite show dozens of minerals that form only in extreme heat -- a finding that complicates theories about how the solar system formed, scientists said on Monday. Prevailing theories about the solar system's formation cannot explain how this high-temperature material ended up in the frigid regions beyond Neptune's orbit, the so-called Kuiper Belt where comets formed....

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2006-01-19 18:05:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- Pristine comet samples returned this weekend by the Stardust spacecraft after a 2.9-billion-mile (4.7-billion-km) journey wildly exceeded scientists' expectations, project managers said on Thursday. A canister containing particles trapped after the Stardust space probe's 2004 encounter with Comet Wild-2, pronounced as "Vilt," landed on Earth on Sunday. The samples were taken to the Johnson Space Center in Houston for inspections. "This exceeded all of...


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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