Stardust Mission

Space mission to study Comet Wild 2 (see During the encounter, Stardust performed a variety of tasks including making counts of particles encountered by the spacecraft and real-time analyses of the compositions of these particles and volatiles. It also captured cometary particles using Aerogel and stored them for return to Earth. Results indicate that comets are not composed entirely of volatile rich materials but rather are a mixture of materials formed at all temperature ranges, at places very near the early sun (olivine) and at places very remote from it (ices).

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