Meteorites, Planetary Samples

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Stardust Encounters Comet 81P/Wild 2

Published:
1 December 2004
Stardust successfully encountered comet 81P/Wild 2 on 2 January 2004 at a distance of 236.4 ± 1 km. All encounter investigations acquired valuable new and surprising findings. The time-of-flight spectrometer registered 29 spectra during flyby and measured the first negative ion mass spectra of cometary particles.

STARDUST Mission and Its Five Science Payloads

Published:
1 October 2003
Stardust, the 4th Discovery mission launched in February 1999, will collect coma samples from the recently deflected comet 81P/Wild 2 on 2 January 2004 and return them to Earth on 15 January 2006 for detailed laboratory analyses. Stardust will be the first mission to bring samples back to Earth from a known comet and also the first to bring back contemporary interstellar particles recently discovered.