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Encyclopedia > Stardust (spacecraft)
An artist's rendering of Stardust (NASA image)
An artist's rendering of Stardust (NASA image)
The Stardust capsule with cometary and interstellar samples landed at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at 10:10 UTC (15 January 2006) in the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The Stardust capsule with cometary and interstellar samples landed at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at 10:10 UTC (15 January 2006) in the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Stardust is an American interplanetary spacecraft, whose primary purpose was to investigate the makeup of the comet Wild 2 and its coma. It was launched on February 7, 1999 by NASA, travelled nearly 3 billion miles (5·109 km), and returned to Earth on January 15, 2006 to release a sample material capsule.[1] It is the first sample return mission to collect cosmic dust and return the sample to Earth. It remains in orbit around the sun awaiting a decision on whether to send it on another mission. An artists rendering of Stardust Spacecraft by NASA This article contains material and/or images that originally came from a NASA website. ... An artists rendering of Stardust Spacecraft by NASA This article contains material and/or images that originally came from a NASA website. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (3008x2000, 2654 KB) Summary From [1]: NASAs Stardust sample return capsule successfully landed at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at 2:10 a. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (3008x2000, 2654 KB) Summary From [1]: NASAs Stardust sample return capsule successfully landed at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at 2:10 a. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI), a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bonneville Salt Flats The Bonneville Salt Flats are a 121 km² (47 mi²) salt flat in northwestern Utah. ... A spacecraft is a vessel, craft or device designed to operate beyond the surface of the Earth in outer space. ... Comet Hale-Bopp A comet is a small body in the solar system that orbits the Sun and (at least occasionally) exhibits a coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail â€” both primarily from the effects of solar radiation upon the comets nucleus, which itself is a minor body composed... The comet Ikeya-Zhang exhibiting a bright, condensed coma (march 2002) In astronomy, the nebulous envelope around the nucleus of a comet is called its coma (from the Latin word for hair). It is formed when the comet passes close to the sun on its highly elliptical orbit; as the... February 7 is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States Government, responsible for that nations public space program. ... One thousand million (1,000,000,000) is the natural number following 999,999,999 and preceding 1,000,000,001. ... Earth (IPA: , often referred to as the Earth, Terra, the World or Planet Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth largest. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI), a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... An artists impression of a capsule returned from Stardust containing cometary samples A sample return mission is a mission with the goal of returning tangible samples from an extraterrestrial location to Earth for analysis. ... Porous chondrite interplanetary dust particle. ... Earth (IPA: , often referred to as the Earth, Terra, the World or Planet Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth largest. ...

Contents

The mission

Path of Stardust
Path of Stardust

After launch in 1999, the Stardust spacecraft travelled in an initial orbit beyond- but intersecting- Earth's orbit. The Delta II booster did not have enough energy to reach Wild 2 directly. The Stardust spacecraft then re-approached Earth in January 2001 for a gravity assist maneuver. The encounter with Earth enlarged the spacecraft's orbit to intersect that of Wild 2. Image File history File links NASA_path_of_spacecraft_Stardust. ... Image File history File links NASA_path_of_spacecraft_Stardust. ... A Delta II rocket launches from Cape Canaveral carrying a GPS satellite The Boeing IDS Delta II family of launch vehicles has been in service since 1989. ... It has been suggested that sling effect be merged into this article or section. ...


On the second orbit, Stardust flew by the comet Wild 2 on January 2, 2004. During the flyby it collected dust samples from the comet's coma and took detailed pictures of its icy nucleus. Additionally, the spacecraft accomplished several other goals. It passed within 3300 km of the asteroid 5535 Annefrank on November 2, 2002 and took several photographs. The aerogel collector also acquired interstellar dust. In March-May 2000 and July-December 2002, the spacecraft angled itself into a dust stream believed to originate outside the solar system. The reverse side of the aerogel collector then caught a sample of such particles. January 2 is the second day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Introductory Material Comet dust refers to cosmic dust that originates from a comet. ... The comet Ikeya-Zhang exhibiting a bright, condensed coma (march 2002) In astronomy, the nebulous envelope around the nucleus of a comet is called its coma (from the Latin word for hair). It is formed when the comet passes close to the sun on its highly elliptical orbit; as the... Comet Hale-Bopp A comet is a small body in the solar system that orbits the Sun and (at least occasionally) exhibits a coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail â€” both primarily from the effects of solar radiation upon the comets nucleus, which itself is a minor body composed... A spacecraft is a vessel, craft or device designed to operate beyond the surface of the Earth in outer space. ... 253 Mathilde, a C-type asteroid. ... Image of 5535 Annefrank taken by the Stardust space probe 5535 Annefrank is an inner main belt asteroid, and member of the Augusta family. ... November 2 is the 306th day of the year (307th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 59 days remaining. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Interstellar cloud is the generic name given to accumulations of gas and dust in our galaxy. ...

The sample material capsule from Stardust returned to Earth at approximately 10:10 UTC on January 15, 2006 in Utah's Great Salt Lake desert, near the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, to deliver the sample material. The landing coordinates were 40°21.9′N 113°31.25′W.[2] Winds had blown the capsule a few miles off its ballistic trajectory, but it was within the target area. On arrival, the capsule was travelling in a nearly flat trajectory, at 12.9 km/s (28,900 miles per hour), which is the fastest re-entry speed ever achieved by a man-made object. As a point of comparison, NASA stated it would be able to travel from Salt Lake City, Utah to New York City, New York in less than six minutes. A large fire ball and sonic boom were observed in western Utah and eastern Nevada. Image File history File links Wikinews-logo. ... Wikinews is a free-content news source and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Earth, also known as the Earth or Terra, is the third planet outward from the Sun. ... Coordinated Universal Time (UTC - see below for explanation) is a high-precision atomic time standard. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI), a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ... The US Armys Dugway Proving Ground (DPG) is a facility located approximately 85 miles (140 km) southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. ... Salt Lake City redirects here. ... New York, New York redirects here. ... A sonic boom is the audible component of a shock wave in air. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


The Stardust mothership had been put into a "divert maneuver" to keep the hardware from hitting Earth. NASA is considering sending it to another comet or asteroid. Under twenty kilograms of fuel remain onboard after the maneuver. Individuals who wish to propose post-return uses for the spacecraft to NASA may submit a proposal for the use of the spacecraft in response to the current Discovery Announcement of Opportunity, a document released on January 3, 2006. On January 29, the craft was put in hibernation mode with only its solar panels and receiver still active. It may be reawakened for a future mission (one possibility: flying by the comet 9P/Tempel that was the target of the Deep Impact mission[3]); for now, it's in a three-year heliocentric orbit that will return it to the Earth's vicinity on January 14, 2009.[4] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States Government, responsible for that nations public space program. ... Comet Hale-Bopp A comet is a small body in the solar system that orbits the Sun and (at least occasionally) exhibits a coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail â€” both primarily from the effects of solar radiation upon the comets nucleus, which itself is a minor body composed... 253 Mathilde, a C-type asteroid. ... January 3 is the 3rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI), a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 29 is the 29th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Tempel 1 is a periodic comet (formally designated 9P/Tempel 1). ... Illustration of the Deep Impact space probe after impactor separation (artists conception) Deep Impact is a NASA space probe designed to study the composition of the interior of the comet Tempel 1. ... In astronomy, heliocentrism is the theory that the Sun is at the center of the Universe and/or the Solar System. ... January 14 is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2009 (MMIX) will be a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Donald Brownlee, from the University of Washington, is the Principal Investigator for the Stardust mission. The University of Washington, founded in 1861, is a public research university in Seattle, Washington. ...


The craft

Stardust launch preparations
Stardust launch preparations

The mission spacecraft is derived from the SpaceProbe deep space bus developed by Lockheed Martin Astronautics. This new lightweight spacecraft incorporates components, virtually all of which are either currently operating in space or are flight qualified and manifested to fly on upcoming missions. Several components have heritage from the Cassini mission; some were developed under the Small Spacecraft Technologies Initiative (SSTI). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1681x2617, 754 KB) original description: The Stardust spacecraft sits in the Payload Hazardous Service Facility waiting to undergo installation and testing of the solar arrays, plus final installation and testing of spacecraft instruments followed by an overall spacecraft functional test. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1681x2617, 754 KB) original description: The Stardust spacecraft sits in the Payload Hazardous Service Facility waiting to undergo installation and testing of the solar arrays, plus final installation and testing of spacecraft instruments followed by an overall spacecraft functional test. ... Lockheed/BAE/Northrop F-35 Lockheed Trident missile C-130 Hercules; in production since the 1950s, now as the C-130J Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is an aerospace manufacturer formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta. ... Cassini-Huygens is a joint NASA/ESA/ASI unmanned space mission intended to study Saturn and its moons. ...


Being a sample return mission, Stardust is subject to the maximum contamination restrictions, classified under level 5 planetary protection. However, the risk of interplanetary contamination by alien life was judged low,[5] for instance particle impacts at over 1000 miles per hour- even into aerogel- would destroy any known microorganism. Planetary Protection is the term used to describe a guiding principle in design of an interplanetary mission that aims to prevent biological contamination of both the target planet/celestial body and the Earth. ...


The total weight of the spacecraft, including the hydrazine propellant needed for deep space maneuvers, is 380 kilograms. The overall length of the main bus is 1.7 meters, about the size of a refrigerator or an average office desk. It appears orange-brown due to the blankets of Kapton film. Hydrazine is the chemical compound with formula N2H4. ... Kapton is a polyimide film developed by DuPont which can remain stable in a wide range of temperatures, from -269°C to 400°C. Kapton is used in, among other things, flexible printed circuits and spacesuits. ...


At one end of the spacecraft is the sample return capsule; the capsule contains the aerogel tray, and an arm to extend the tray. The opposite end of the spacecraft has the main dust shield, and the interface to the launch vehicle. Two sides of the spacecraft body hold solar arrays. Unlike most other missions, the silicon arrays do not articulate to track the sun after their initial deployment. The spacecraft is fairly passive and generates adequate power during the lengthy cruise portions of the mission. The encounter phase, when Stardust must orient the collector and dust shields at Wild 2 regardless of solar illumination, is relatively brief. Each array also has a dust shield. The remaining sides of the spacecraft contain the communications dish and scientific instruments.


Stardust runs VxWorks, an embedded operating system developed by Wind River Systems, on a RAD6000 32-bit processor. There are 128 megabytes for both program space and data collection. VxWorks is a Unix-like real-time operating system made and sold by Wind River Systems of Alameda, California, USA. Like most RTOSes, VxWorks includes a multitasking kernel with pre-emptive scheduling and fast interrupt response, extensive inter-process communications and synchronization facilities, and a file system. ... An embedded operating system is an operating system for embedded systems. ... Wind River Systems, Inc. ... The RAD6000 radiation-hardened single board computer, based on the IBM POWER CPU, is manufactured by BAE SYSTEMS and is mainly known as the onboard computer of numerous NASA spacecraft. ...


Science payload

Dust Collector with aerogel blocks (NASA)
Dust Collector with aerogel blocks (NASA)

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2103x1909, 1072 KB) Stardust Dust Collector with aerogel image source: http://stardust. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2103x1909, 1072 KB) Stardust Dust Collector with aerogel image source: http://stardust. ...

Aerogel sample collectors

Comet and interstellar particles are collected in ultra low density aerogel. More than 1,000 square centimeters of collection area is provided for each type of particle, (cometary and interstellar). The collector tray contains ninety blocks of aerogel in a metal grid. The appearance of the grid has been likened to an ice cube tray; the round collector is about the size of a tennis racket. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Introductory Material Comet dust refers to cosmic dust that originates from a comet. ... Interstellar cloud is the generic name given to accumulations of gas and dust in our galaxy. ...


When the spacecraft flew past the comet, the impact velocity of the particles in the coma as they were captured was 6100 metres per second, up to nine times the speed of a bullet fired from a rifle. Although the captured particles were each smaller than a grain of sand, high-speed capture could have altered their shape and chemical composition - or vaporized them entirely. Comatose redirects here. ... To help compare different orders of magnitude, the following list describes various speed levels between 1. ... Metre per second (U.S. spelling: meter per second) is an SI derived unit of both speed (scalar) and velocity (vector), defined by distance in metres divided by time in seconds. ... The pages linked in the right-hand column contain lists of volumes that are of the same order of magnitude (power of ten). ...

Stardust capsule with aerogel collector deployed
Stardust capsule with aerogel collector deployed

To collect the particles without damaging them, a silicon-based solid with a porous, sponge-like structure is used in which 99.9 percent of the volume is empty space. Aerogel is 1,000 times less dense than glass, another silicon-based solid. When a particle hits the aerogel, it buries itself in the material, creating a carrot-shaped track up to 200 times its own length, as it slows down and comes to a stop - like an airplane setting down on a runway and braking to reduce its speed gradually. Since aerogel is mostly transparent - a property earning it the nickname "solid smoke" or "blue smoke" — scientists will use these tracks to find the tiny particles. Image File history File links Stardust_-_Coletor_2. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silicon, Si, 14 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 14, 3, p Appearance as coarse powder, dark gray with bluish tinge Atomic mass 28. ... Classes Calcarea Hexactinellida Demospongiae The sponges or poriferans (from the Greek poros pore and ferro to bear) are animals of the phylum Porifera. ... Glass can be made transparent and flat, or into other shapes and colors as shown in this sphere from the Verrerie of Brehat in Brittany. ...


The aerogel was packed in a Sample Return Capsule (SRC) which was released from the spacecraft just before reentry, for a separate landing on a parachute, while the rest of the spacecraft fired its engines, putting it into orbit around the sun.


While there was some concern about this landing, as the capsule shares a parachute design with Genesis, a solar probe whose parachute did not deploy properly in 2004 due to an assembly and integration error, the Utah landing saw the spacecraft arrive intact and within a minute of estimates. In its collecting configuration, the Genesis spacecraft exposed collecting wafers to the solar wind. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


To analyse the aerogel for interstellar dust, about one million photographs will be taken, each one of a very small section of the gel. These will be distributed to home computer users who will be credited for any particles found, in a program called Stardust@home modeled after SETI@home and Mars Clickworkers. Grid computing is an emerging computing model that provides the ability to perform higher throughput computing by taking advantage of many networked computers to model a virtual computer architecture that is able to distribute process execution across a parallel infrastructure. ... Stardust@home is a project that encourages volunteers to search images for tiny interstellar dust impacts. ... SETI@home (SETI at home) is a grid computing (distributed computing in the projects own terminology) project using Internet-connected computers, hosted by the Space Sciences Laboratory, at the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States. ... ClickWorkers was a small, experimental NASA project (run from November 2000 to September 2001) that showed that public volunteers (clickworkers), many working for a few minutes here and there and others choosing to work longer, can do some routine science analysis that would normally be done by a scientist or...


Comet and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA)

Comet and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA)
Comet and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA)

The CIDA instrument is a time-of-flight mass spectrometer that determines the composition of individual dust grains which collide with a silver impact plate. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1152x732, 100 KB) Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer instrument of the Stardust spacecraft image source: http://stardust. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1152x732, 100 KB) Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer instrument of the Stardust spacecraft image source: http://stardust. ... Mass spectrometry is a technique for separating ions by their mass-to-charge (m/z) ratios. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silver, Ag, 47 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 5, d Appearance lustrous white metal Atomic mass 107. ...


The purpose of the Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) instrument on Stardust is to intercept and perform real-time compositional analysis of dust as it is encountered by the spacecraft for transmission back to Earth.


The CIDA separates ions' masses by comparing differences in their flight times. The operating principle of the instrument is the following: when a dust particle hits the target of the instrument, ions are extracted from it by the electrostatic grid. Depending on the polarity of the target positive or negative ions can be extracted. The extracted ions move through the instrument, are reflected in the reflector, and detected in the detector. Heavier ions take more time to travel through the instrument than lighter ones, so the flight times of the ions are then used to calculate their masses. An ion is an atom or group of atoms that normally are electrically neutral and achieve their status as an ion by loss or addition of one or more electrons. ... Unsolved problems in physics: What causes anything to have mass? Mass is a property of a physical object that quantifies the amount of matter and energy it is equivalent to. ... The polarity of an object is, in general, its physical alignment of atoms. ...


The CIDA is the same instrument design that flew on Giotto and two Vega program spacecraft where it obtained unique data on the chemical composition of individual particulates in Halley's coma. It consists of an inlet, a target, an ion extractor, a time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer (MS) and an ion detector. In this artists concept, Giotto points its white high-gain antenna dish towards earth with the ring of solar cells facing the sun. ... The Vega mission was a Venus mission which also took advantage of the appearance of Comet Halley in 1986. ... Comet Halley, officially designated 1P/Halley, more generally known as Halleys Comet after Edmond Halley, is a comet that can be seen every 75-76 years. ...


The co-investigator in charge of the CIDA is Jochen Kissel of Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik in Garching bei München, Germany where the instrument was developed. Electronics hardware was built by von Hoerner & Sulger GmbH in Schwetzingen Germany. Software for the CIDA instrument is developed by The Finnish Meteorological Institute.[6] The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics is a Max Planck Institute, located in Garching, near Munich, Germany. ... Garching bei München or Garching is a town in Bavaria, Germany near Munich. ... Schwetzingen is a German city lying in the northwest of Baden-Württemberg, around 10 km southwest of Heidelberg and 15 km southeast of Mannheim. ... Finnish Meteorological Institute (Ilmatieteen laitos) is a government agency, which is a central place responsible for gathering and reporting weather data and forecasts in Finland. ...


Navigation camera (NavCam)

The Navigation camera is used for targeting the flyby of the Wild 2 nucleus, but also provides high-resolution science images of the comet.


The Navigation Camera (NC), an engineering subsystem, was used to optically navigate the spacecraft upon approach to the comet. This allowed the spacecraft to achieve the proper flyby distance, near enough to the nucleus, to assure adequate dust collection. The camera also served as an imaging camera to collect scientific data. The data includes high-resolution color images of the comet's nucleus, on approach and on departure, and broadband images at various phase angles while nearby. These images were used to construct a 3-D map of the nucleus in order to better understand its origin, morphology, to search for mineralogical inhomogeneities on the nucleus, and potentially to supply information on the nucleus rotation state. The camera will provide images, taken through different filters, that gave information on the gas and dust coma during approach and departure phases of the mission. These images are providing information on gas composition, gas and dust dynamics, and jet phenomena (if they exist). A camera is a device used to capture images, usually photographs, either singly or in sequence such as with video cameras. ... A spacecraft is a vessel, craft or device designed to operate beyond the surface of the Earth in outer space. ... Comet Hale-Bopp A comet is a small body in the solar system that orbits the Sun and (at least occasionally) exhibits a coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail â€” both primarily from the effects of solar radiation upon the comets nucleus, which itself is a minor body composed... The solid, central part of a comet is known as the comet nucleus. ... After just three years of use dust has blocked this laptop heat sink, making the computer unusable Dust is a general name for minute solid particles with diameters less than 500 micrometers (otherwise, see sand or granulates) and, more generally, for finely divided matter. ... In general, data consist of propositions that reflect reality. ... A 3D rendering with raytracing and ambient occlusion using Blender and Yafray 3D computer graphics are works of graphic art that were created with the aid of digital computers and specialized 3D software. ... The solid, central part of a comet is known as the comet nucleus. ... A gas is one of the four major phases of matter (after solid and liquid, and followed by plasma, that subsequently appear as a solid material is subjected to increasingly higher temperatures. ... After just three years of use dust has blocked this laptop heat sink, making the computer unusable Dust is a general name for minute solid particles with diameters less than 500 micrometers (otherwise, see sand or granulates) and, more generally, for finely divided matter. ...


The camera peers out of a "periscope." An initial fold mirror looks past the dust shield, and keeps the body of the camera out of the path of damaging dust particles. A scan mirror then gives the camera some panning capability, independent of the spacecraft orientation. This dual-mirror design also provides robustness. Upon approach to the nucleus, both mirrors are used to navigate and take images. Then, when the spacecraft is retreating from Wild 2, the camera looks "backward" by turning the scan mirror, bypassing the fold mirror. If comet dust has etched the fold mirror on approach, the mission can still take images with the clean scan mirror. Etching from Wild 2 did not appear to be severe; the spacecraft can still image future objects with either method.


Early in the mission, contamination threatened the camera's performance. Volatile substances from elsewhere on the spacecraft escaped in the vacuum of space ("outgassing"), and some redeposited on the camera, resulting in cloudy images. Although this did not impact the primary mission goal (the aerogel collectors), it would reduce the science return from Wild 2. Electric heaters, used to maintain the camera at a moderate temperature, were overdriven to "boil" off the contamination. The majority of deposits were eliminated, and test images were deemed acceptable. A similar problem appeared on the Cassini mission, with similar techniques and results. Cassini-Huygens is a joint NASA/ESA/ASI unmanned space mission intended to study Saturn and its moons. ...


Dust shield and monitors

Whipple shield

The Whipple shield is designed to protect the spacecraft during its flyby of comet Wild 2. It consists of three sections, two protecting the solar panels and one protecting the main spacecraft body. The first layer is made of composite panels. The panels are augmented by blankets of Nextel ceramic cloth. The shield is designed to protect Stardust from particles as large as 1 cm in diameter. Whipple shield used on NASAs Stardust probe The Whipple shield, invented by Fred Whipple is a type of hypervelocity impact shield used to protect manned and unmanned spacecraft from collisions with small particles whose velocities are measured in kilometers per second. ...


Dust Flux Monitors (DFM)

The DFM instrument, mounted on the front of the Whipple shield, monitors the flux and size distribution of particles in the environment.


Developed under the direction of Tony Tuzzalino at the University of Chicago, the DFMI is a highly sensitive instrument designed to detect particles as small as a few micrometres. It is based on a very special polarized plastic (PVDF) that generates electrical pulses when impacted or penetrated by small high speed particles. The University of Chicago is a private university located principally in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. ...


The Dust Flux Monitor Instrument (DFMI) consists of a Sensor Unit (SU), Electronics Box (EB), and the two acoustic sensors mounted to the Stardust spacecraft. The SU is mounted to the Whipple shield, and the EB is mounted internally to the spacecraft enclosure.


Sample processing

Dust impact in Stardust collector
Dust impact in Stardust collector

The samples returned by the spacecraft were flown by military transport from Utah to Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, Texas, then transferred by road to the Johnson Space Center in Webster, Texas. NASA officials said "prudence" dictated that the materials be transferred in secrecy, though the agency said they had received no specific security threats. According to the Houston Chronicle, the sample container was taken to a clean room facility which has "a cleanliness factor 100 times that of a hospital operating room to ensure the star and comet dust is not contaminated by earthly grime."[7] Johnson Space Center is also the home of most of the moon rock samples brought back by the Apollo missions. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3072x2048, 1275 KB) Date : 01/17/2006 Summary : Closeup view of a cometary impact (center) into aerogel was inspected by scientists at a laboratory at the Johnson Space Center hours after the Stardust Sample Return Canister was delivered to the Johnson... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3072x2048, 1275 KB) Date : 01/17/2006 Summary : Closeup view of a cometary impact (center) into aerogel was inspected by scientists at a laboratory at the Johnson Space Center hours after the Stardust Sample Return Canister was delivered to the Johnson... Image File history File links Wikinews-logo. ... Wikinews is a free-content news source and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Lieutenant Eric Lamar Ellington Field is a small airport in Clear Lake City, Texas, annexed to Houston, Texas. ... Nickname: Space City Location in the state of Texas Coordinates: Counties Harris County Fort Bend County Montgomery County Mayor Bill White Area    - City 1,558 km²  (601. ... An aerial view of the complete Johnson Space Center facility in Houston, Texas in 1989. ... Webster is a city located in Harris County, Texas. ... The Houston Chronicle is a daily newspaper in Houston, Texas, United States. ... In manufacturing, a clean room is an enclosed area protected against dust that might interfere with the manufacturing process. ... Lunar Ferroan Anorthosite #60025 (Plagioclase Feldspar). ... Project Apollo was a series of human spaceflight missions undertaken by the United States of America (NASA) using the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicle, conducted during the years 1961–1975. ...


NASA made a preliminary estimation of a million microscopic specks of dust embedded in Stardust's aerogel collector. There are about 10 particles of 100 micrometers in size. The largest is around a millimeter. Johnson Space Center is the curator of the samples collected, as well as the interstellar dust particles, while as many as 150 scientists worldwide are analyzing those samples. A microscope (Greek: micron = small and scopos = aim) is an instrument for viewing objects that are too small to be seen by the naked or unaided eye. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A micrometre (American spelling: micrometer, symbol µm) is an SI unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre, or about a tenth of the size of a droplet of mist or fog. ... A millimetre (American spelling: millimeter), symbol mm is an SI unit of length that is equal to one thousandth of a metre. ... For a List of scientists, see: List of anthropologists List of astronomers List of biologists List of chemists List of computer scientists List of economists List of engineers List of geologists List of inventors List of mathematicians List of meteorologists List of physicists Scientist pairs List of scientist pairs See...


There is also an estimated 45 interstellar dust impacts on the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC), which resides on the flip side of the cometary dust collector. The search for these grains will be done by a volunteer team at Stardust@Home. Interstellar cloud is the generic name given to accumulations of gas and dust in our galaxy. ... Stardust@home is a project that encourages volunteers to search images for tiny interstellar dust impacts. ...


Sample analysis

At a press conference on 2006-03-13, NASA scientists reported[8] finding minerals in the comet dust samples that formed under high-temperatures, including olivine, diopside, forsterite (also known as peridot in its gem form), and anorthite. This is consistent with previous astronomical observations of nearby young stellar objects, as olivine dust is commonly present where comet formation is thought to occur, and is also consistent with spectral detections of olivine in the tails of other comets. Van Boekel et al 2004[9] summarise that: 2006 (MMVI), a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 13 is the 72nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (73rd in leap years). ... Introductory Material Comet dust refers to cosmic dust that originates from a comet. ... Olivine basalt The mineral olivine is a magnesium iron silicate with the formula (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. ...

Both in the Solar System and in circumstellar disks crystalline silicates are found at large distances from the star. The origin of these silicates is a matter of debate. Although in the hot inner-disk regions crystalline silicates can be produced by means of gas-phase condensation or thermal annealing, the typical grain temperatures in the outer-disk (2−20 au) regions are far below the glass temperature of silicates of approx 1,000 K. The crystals in these regions may have been transported outward through the disk or in an outward-flowing wind. An alternative source of crystalline silicates in the outer disk regions is in situ annealing, for example by shocks or lightning. A third way to produce crystalline silicates is the collisional destruction of large parent bodies in which secondary processing has taken place. We can use the mineralogy of the dust to derive information about the nature of the primary and/or secondary processes the small-grain population has undergone.

Possible study of Tempel 1

On 19 March 2006, Stardust scientists announced that they were considering the possibility of redirecting the spacecraft on a secondary mission to photograph Tempel 1, the comet that was impacted by the Deep Impact spacecraft in 2005. This possibility is important because Deep Impact did not succeed in capturing a good image of the crater formed on Tempel 1, due to obscuring dust from the impact. If the secondary mission is approved, the flyby of Tempel 1 is likely to take place in 2010.[3] March 19 is the 78th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (79th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI), a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Tempel 1 is a periodic comet (formally designated 9P/Tempel 1). ... Illustration of the Deep Impact space probe after impactor separation (artists conception) Deep Impact is a NASA space probe designed to study the composition of the interior of the comet Tempel 1. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Notes and references

  1. ^ NASA Spacecraft Returns With Comet Samples After 2.9 Bln Miles. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved on January 15, 2006.
  2. ^ The landing coordinates are plotted here.
  3. ^ a b Covault, Craig. "A Tale of Two Comets - NASA's Stardust Samples Amaze Researchers, as Mothership is Eyed for Recon at Deep Impact Site", Spaceref.com, March 19, 2006.
  4. ^ http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/060131_ap_stardust_hibernate.html
  5. ^ http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/science/life.html
  6. ^ Kissel J., Krueger F. R., Silen J., Clark B. C. (2004). "The Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer at Comet 81P/Wild 2". Science 304: 1774-1776. DOI:10.1126/science.1098836.
  7. ^ Carreau, Mark Stardust's Cargo Comes to Houston under Veil of Secrecy Houston Chronicle, January 17, 2006.
  8. ^ http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stardust/main/
  9. ^ http://ukads.nottingham.ac.uk/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=2004Natur.432..479V&db_key=AST

January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI), a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...

See also

For other uses, see Hayabusa (disambiguation). ... In its collecting configuration, the Genesis spacecraft exposed collecting wafers to the solar wind. ... It has been suggested that Space probe be merged into this article or section. ... Here is an incomplete list of all unmanned spacecraft categorized by program. ... Astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the Moon. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Unmanned space mission. ... Timeline of artificial satellites and space probes // Key: Year - Origin - Target - Status - Description 1950s 1957 - Soviet Union - Earth - Success - Sputnik 1 is launched, the first Earth orbiting satellite 1957 - Soviet Union - Earth - Partial success - Sputnik 2 is launched, the first Earth orbiting satellite with an animal (Laika) 1958 - USA - Earth... While a number of countries have built satellites, only a few have sent objects into orbit using their own launch systems. ... Timeline of planetary exploration by date of launch. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Stardust

  Results from FactBites:
 
Stardust (spacecraft) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2601 words)
Stardust is an American interplanetary spacecraft, whose primary purpose is to investigate the makeup of the comet Wild 2 and its coma.
When the spacecraft flew past the comet, the impact velocity of the particles in the coma as they were captured was 6100 metres per second, up to nine times the speed of a bullet fired from a rifle.
The SU is mounted to the Whipple shield, and the EB is mounted internally to the spacecraft enclosure.
Stardust | JPL | NASA (617 words)
Stardust is the first U.S. space mission dedicated solely to the exploration of a comet, and the first robotic mission designed to return extraterrestrial material from outside the orbit of the Moon.
Stardust is the fourth NASA Discovery mission to be chosen and follows on the heels of Mars Pathfinder, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission, and the Lunar Prospector mission.
The contractor for the Stardust spacecraft is Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colorado.
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