Sunday, January 15, 2006

Stardust Sample Return Success!

After seven years and nearly 3 billion miles of space travel, the Stardust spacecraft has successfully completed its mission to return comet and interplanetary dust samples to earth.

As planned, at approximately 2:12 a.m. PST, the return capsule released earlier from the Stardust probe as it cruised past earth on its way to an orbit around the sun landed safely in the Utah desert. A retrieval crew was on the ground at the site within minutes and by 4:30 a.m. the capsule and its precious cargo were being loaded into a "clean room" where researchers will begin the painstaking process of recovering the samples and analyzing data.

Congratulations NASA! Here's another feather for your cap...

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