Skywatch

  • April 6, 2006

    Episode 30: Stardust Lives?

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    Shownotes

    We may not have seen the end of the Stardust mission. The mission, whose probe scooped up samples of comet material before returning to Earth in January 2006, still has a mothership in space. Analysis of the samples offers enticing clues about the formation of comets and our solar system. Researchers are considering whether the Stardust mothership, now in hibernation, could be used to take pictures of Comet Tempel 1 - specifically, the part blown open in July 2006 by another comet mission, Deep Impact. Lots of ideas are submitted to NASA for creating new missions and reusing old ones. The agency convenes a panel to fairly review all these ideas and see which ones are affordable.