Latest Stardust mission Stories
Dust samples collected by high-flying aircraft in the upper atmosphere have yielded an unexpectedly rich trove of relicts from the ancient cosmos, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution.
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.
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 systemâ€™s early materials.
Comets have long lit up the sky and the imaginations of scientists. Now these icy bodies from the beginnings of the solar system are finally ready for their close-up.
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number five in this countdown was the Stardust mission and its capture of comet dust for Earth return.