An artistic illustration of Stardust at comet Wild 2
Image 1: An artistic illustration of Stardust at comet Wild 2 | This is the 390-kilogram robotic space probe launched by NASA on 7 February 1999. Its primary mission was to collect dust samples from the coma of comet Wild 2, as well as samples of cosmic dust, and return these to Earth for analysis.

Stardust (Stardust) was a 390 kg robotic space probe, launched by NASA on 7 February 1999. Stardust’s primary mission was to collect dust samples from Comet Wild 2’s coma (coma – comet Wild 2), as well as cosmic dust samples, and bring them back to Earth for analysis. This was the first sample return mission of its kind. Apart from Comet Wild 2, it has also studied the asteroid 5535 Anne frank.

The first mission was successfully completed when its return capsule returned to Earth on 15 January 2006. Thus in February 2011, a mission extension was named NEXT, ending with Stardust (Stardust) comet Tempel 1 (a small solar system body previously visited by Deep Impact in 2005). Stardust ceased operations in March 2011. On 14 August 2014, scientists announced the identification of possible interstellar dust particles from the Stardust capsule that returned to Earth in 2006.

Stardust Mission History

In the beginning of 1980s, scientists began seeking a dedicated mission to study a comet. During the early 1990s, several missions to study comet Halley became the first successful missions to return close-up data. However, the US cometary mission, Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby, was canceled for budgetary reasons. In the mid-1990s, further support was given to a cheaper, Discovery-class mission that would study comet Wild 2 in 2004.

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