|Launched in 1999, Stardust will collect material from a comet and return it to Earth. Scheduled to intercept comet Wild-2 in 2004, the spacecraft will obtain samples using an extremely light, silicon-based solid called aerogel. The samples will be returned to Earth in 2006.|
Image courtesy of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Ancient material retrieved from the comet will be compared to younger particles of interstellar dust collected by Stardust in 2000 and 2002. These samples may help us to better understand the evolutionary history of our galaxy.
Stardust will collect interstellar dust from
August 5th to December 9th 2002.
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