Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stardust-NExT mission updates - Feb.14, 2011

For those of you who are following the Stardust-NExT mission and the flyby of Comet Temple 1 here are three recent mission updates from: http://stardustnext.jpl.nasa.gov/media/index.html

February 14, 2011
NASA's Stardust Spacecraft Completes Comet Flyby

Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., watched as data downlinked from the Stardust spacecraft indicated it completed its closest approach with comet Tempel 1. An hour after closest approach, the spacecraft turned to point its large, high-gain antenna at Earth.
+ Read entire story

February 14, 2011
The Two Faces of Tempel 1

Just one year before its Feb. 14 encounter with comet Tempel 1, NASA's Stardust spacecraft performed the largest rocket burn of its extended life. With the spacecraft on the opposite side of the solar system and beyond the orbit of Mars, the comet hunter's rockets fired for 22 minutes and 53 seconds, changing the spacecraft's speed by 24 meters per second (54 mph).
+ Read entire story

February 14, 2011
NASA Spacecraft Hours From Comet Encounter

As of today, Feb. 14, at 9:21 a.m. PST (12:21 p.m. EST), NASA's Stardust-NExT mission spacecraft is within a quarter-million miles (402,336 kilometers) of its quarry, comet Tempel 1, which it will fly by tonight. The spacecraft is cutting the distance with the comet at a rate of about 10.9 kilometers per second (6.77 miles per second or 24,000 mph).
+ Read entire press release

Artist's concept of NASA's Stardust spacecraft flying by comet Tempel 1
(Artist's concept of NASA's Stardust-NExT mission, which will fly by comet Tempel 1 on Feb. 14, 2011. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LMSS. Image copyright NASA)

You can find more information about the Stardust-NExT mission at: http://stardustnext.jpl.nasa.gov/

Happy voyages ~ Jim Cox

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