Stardust Mission Landing
(Photo above takes you to Stardust's Mission updates)
NASA's Comet Tale Draws to a Successful Close in Utah Desert
NASA's Stardust sample return mission returned safely to Earth when the capsule carrying cometary and interstellar particles successfully touched down at 2:10 a.m. Pacific time (3:10 a.m. Mountain time) in the desert salt flats of the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range.See an awesome flash presentation of the capsule's return HERE.
"Ten years of planning and seven years of flight operations were realized early this morning when we successfully picked up our return capsule off of the desert floor in Utah," said Tom Duxbury, Stardust project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "The Stardust project has delivered to the international science community material that has been unaltered since the formation of our solar system."
"I have been waiting for this day since the early 1980s when Deputy Principal Investigator Dr. Peter Tsou of JPL and I designed a mission to collect comet dust," said Dr. Don Brownlee, Stardust principal investigator from the University of Washington, Seattle. "To see the capsule safely back on its home planet is a thrilling accomplishment."
The sample return capsule's science canister and its cargo of comet and interstellar dust particles will be stowed inside a special aluminum carrying case to await transfer to the Johnson Space Center, Houston, where it will be opened. NASA's Stardust mission traveled 2.88 billion miles during its seven-year round-trip odyssey. Scientists believe these precious samples will help provide answers to fundamental questions about comets and the origins of the solar system.
I've always been told that I have my head in the clouds-- thus my fascination with space missions.
This one is really cool...
Build a spaceship, launch a capsule at a comet so hard that it creates football stadium sized hole in it, schnag some dust and bring'er home... even if it does tick off some nutty russian astrologers... schweetness!
...oh, go and vote for your favorite picture of outter space of 2005...
Other blogs gathering 'Stardust':
Live blogging by: Out of the Cradle
Music of the Spheres
Dennis D. McDonald
i hate peas
(also linked with Don Surber)