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Latest Stardust Stories

b82b11e2fc3fa66e7193fcb8eae709c71
2010-11-23 06:15:00

Eighty-six days out from its appointment with a comet, NASA's Stardust spacecraft fired its thrusters to help refine its flight path. The Stardust-NExT mission will fly past comet Tempel 1 next Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, 2011). It will perform NASA's second comet flyby within four months. "One comet down, one to go," said Tim Larson, project manager for both the Stardust-NExT mission and the EPOXI mission -- which successfully flew past comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4. The trajectory correction...

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2010-11-03 08:15:00

The EPOXI mission spacecraft has refined its path toward a Nov. 4 flyby of comet Hartley 2, successfully performing its final maneuver Tuesday at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT). The spacecraft burned its engines for 6.8 seconds, changing the spacecraft's velocity by 1.4 meters per second (3 miles per hour). "I've worked the Stardust flyby of comet Wild 2 and the Deep Impact encounter with comet Tempel 1, and I have never seen a comet flit around the sky like this one," said mission navigator Shyam...

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2010-11-03 06:20:00

Over the last 40 years, Malcolm Hartley has done just about every possible job for Siding Spring Observatory's UK Schmidt telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The British-born, Scottish-educated Hartley has logged time as the 1.2 meter (3.9 foot) telescope's observer, processor, copier, hypersensitization expert, and quality controller. On the afternoon of March 16, 1986, Hartley's job was that last one -- quality control. In that role, he was the first to view each 36-by-36 centimeter...

2010-09-20 17:35:00

TEMPE, Ariz., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- KinetX, Inc., a Tempe, Arizona firm providing innovative engineering, software and hardware solutions to a wide variety of industries, hosted a conference celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first comet encounter by a robotic spacecraft. That first encounter happened on September 11, 1985 when the ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft's ongoing mission at a Sun-Earth libration was interrupted to target it to intercept the path of the comet Giacobini-Zinner. This...

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2010-06-26 06:45:00

Last year, high school science teacher Ron Dantowitz of Brookline, Mass., played a clever trick on three of his best students. He asked them to plan a hypothetical mission to fly onboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft and observe a spacecraft disintegrate as it came screaming into Earth's atmosphere. How would they record the event? What could they learn? For 6 months, they worked hard on their assignment, never suspecting the surprise Dantowitz had in store. On March 12th, he stunned them with the...

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2010-06-14 10:55:00

The Hayabusa capsule and bus entered the Earth's atmosphere over Woomera, Australia, on June 13 at 11:21 p.m. local time. From the perspective of NASA's DC-8 airborne observation team, the capsule moved below and slightly ahead of the bus and stayed clear of the spectacular breakup of the bus. After the bus had disintegrated, the capsule continued to create a wake, before reaching peak heating and then fading gradually. That's when the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) expects the...

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2010-06-10 07:05:00

The space and astronomy worlds have June 13 circled on the calendar. That's when the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) expects the sample return capsule of the agency's technology demonstrator spacecraft, Hayabusa, to boomerang back to Earth. The capsule, along with its mother ship, visited a near-Earth asteroid, Itokawa, five years ago and has logged about 2 billion kilometers (1.25 billion miles) since its launch in May 2003. With the return of the Hayabusa capsule, targeted for...

2010-06-09 14:33:00

PALMDALE, Calif., June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of astronomers from NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and other organizations are flying to the other side of the world for a front row seat and a rare opportunity to study a spacecraft's targeted fiery descent through Earth's atmosphere. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) A Douglas DC-8 airborne laboratory departed yesterday evening from NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility at...

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2010-06-08 10:41:11

A planeload of scientists and specialized instruments aboard NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory is scheduled to depart NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility at Palmdale, Calif., for Australia Tuesday evening, June 8, to catch a glimpse of the fiery return of a Japanese spacecraft to Earth on June 13. The group of astronomers from NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and other institutions are flying to Melbourne, Australia to make final preparations for the highly anticipated...

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2010-05-28 09:40:00

Scientists put the Comet Wild 2 under the microscope Researchers at the University of Leicester are examining extraterrestrial material from a comet to assess the origins of our Solar System. For the first time ever, material samples from a comet were collected in the Stardust Mission. It was the first mission since the Apollo landings to have successfully returned extraterrestrial material for scientists to study in the laboratory. At the University of Leicester's Space Research Centre and...


Latest Stardust Reference Libraries

6_348877a21702e82deaef967e7029f7ad2
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
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.