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Stardust: Cometary Paydirt
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
01/19/06
Scientists at the Johnson Space Center in Houston were excited and awed by what they saw when the sample-return canister from the Stardust spacecraft was opened. Stardust returned to Earth in a spectacular re-entry early Sunday after a 7-year mission to collect particles from comet Wild 2. The comet dates from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Stardust Safely Home
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
01/15/06
The Stardust mission ended not with a bang Sunday morning, but with the soft thud of the sample return capsule parachuting down to a muddy Utah field. The capsule contains interstellar dust particles and samples of the comet Wild 2.

Sampling Stardust on Sunday
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
01/13/06
This weekend, the Stardust spacecraft will return to Earth after a 7-year, 2.88-billion-mile journey.

Stardust's Return
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/22/05
Samples of the comet Wild 2 will come down to Earth on January 15, 2006. But what kind of shape will they be in? Worries about the sample return capsule's parachutes - and memories of the Genesis mission - add nail-biting drama to the event.

Long-Distance Troubleshooting
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/13/05
Japanese officials are struggling to fix a horde of problems plaguing the Hayabusa space mission in time to begin its journey back to Earth with or without a package of specimens that were supposed to have been collected from the surface of asteroid Itokawa late last month.

The Little Spacecraft That Could
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
11/29/05
With a maneuver compared to landing a jumbo jet in a moving Grand Canyon, Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft touched down on the surface of the asteroid Itokawa and collected a sample. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced the success several hours after its bird had flown.

Icy Dirtballs not Dirty Snowballs
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
10/15/05
Observations of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 made by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft after the Deep Impact collision suggest that comets are 'icy dirtballs', rather than 'dirty snowballs' as previously believed.

Sunshine on Comets: Part 2
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
10/06/05
Jessica Sunshine is the Deep Impact mission scientist responsible for the onboard infrared spectrometer. In the second half of this two-part interview, she discusses whether Deep Impact has altered our ideas of how comets are formed and how important they've been in Earth's history.

Sunshine on Comets: Part I
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
10/03/05
Jessica Sunshine is the Deep Impact mission scientist responsible for the onboard infrared spectrometer. In the first half of this two-part interview, she discusses what the comet's nucleus looked like before and after impact, and explains why it's so difficult to piece together the spectroscopic data.

Don't Judge a Comet by its Cover
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
09/21/05
When NASA's Deep Impact mission ploughed into comet 9P/Tempel 1 on July 4th of this year, the giant telescopes on Mauna Kea had a unique view of the massive cloud of dust, gas and ice expelled during the collision.

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