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Latest Stardust Stories

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...

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2010-03-16 14:37:21

As reported in last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, two most promising candidates for stardust have been identified. They were collected during NASA´s Stardust mission that probed the interstellar stream during 15 months. Since 2006 not only scientists but also amateurs worldwide are scanning samples for the proverbial needle in the haystack: dust particles from others parts of our galaxy that were carried to our solar system via the interstellar...

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2010-03-07 09:45:00

NASA scientists said they might have identified the first specks of interstellar dust in materials collected by the agency's Stardust spacecraft. The interstellar dust is comprised of tiny particles that take part in making stars and planets. The Stardust spacecraft's primary job was to catch dust streaming from Comet Wild 2 and return it to Earth for analysis. However, scientists also hoped to collect particles of interstellar dust. The material was collected in a 2.9 billion mile...

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2010-02-26 07:15:00

Though comets are thought to be some of the oldest, most primitive bodies in the solar system, new research on comet Wild 2 indicates that inner solar system material was transported to the comet-forming region at least 1.7 million years after the formation of the oldest solar system solids. The research by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and colleagues provides the first constraint on the age of cometary material from a known comet. The findings were published in the Feb....


Latest Stardust 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
snash
  • To talk saucily.
  • Insolent, opprobrious language; impertinent abuse.
This word is Scots in origin and probably imitative.