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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 1/14/2006 7:34:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/15/2006 7:34:16 AM EDT by AyeGuy]

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NASA'S STARDUST PASSES MOON, JUST HOURS AWAY FROM EARTH RETURN
Less than one day of space travel separates Earth and history's first comet sample return mission. Today at 9:30 a.m. Pacific time (10:30 a.m. Mountain time), the Stardust spacecraft will cross the moon's orbit as the craft makes its way toward Earth.
The final 400,000 kilometers (249,000 miles) of the mission to return a capsule containing cometary particles to Earth will take just 16 hours and 27 minutes. It took the Apollo astronauts about three days to make the same journey.

"Our entire flight and recovery team will be watching this final leg of our flight with tremendous expectation as we implement a precise celestial ballet in delivering our capsule to Earth," said Stardust Project Manager Tom Duxbury of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We feel like parents awaiting the return of a child who left us young and innocent, who now returns holding answers to the most profound questions of our solar system."

Prior to passing the moon's orbit, the spacecraft performed a final maneuver to place it on a precise path to reach its landing target on the Utah Test and Training Range. The burn, which took place yesterday at 8:53 p.m. Pacific time (9:53 p.m. Mountain time), took 58.5 seconds to complete and changed the spacecraft's velocity by 2.9 mph. At the time of the burn the spacecraft was about 706,000 kilometers (439,000 miles) from Earth.

NASA's Stardust mission has traveled about 4.5 billion kilometers (2.88 billion miles) during its seven year round-trip odyssey. It is a journey that carried it around the sun three times and beyond Mars and the asteroid belt -- as far out as half-way to Jupiter. This cosmic voyage was in quest of cometary and interstellar dust particles, which scientists believe will help provide answers to fundamental questions about comets and the origins of the solar system.

"With the information we gathered during our encounter with comet Wild 2 in Jan. 2004, Stardust has already provided us with some remarkable science," said Dr. Don Brownlee, Stardust principal investigator at the University of Washington, Seattle. "With the return of cometary samples, we'll be able to work with the actual building materials of the solar system as they were when the solar system was formed. It will be a great day for science."

The last few hours of the Stardust mission will be filled with significant milestones. Today at about 8:15 p.m. Pacific time (9:15 p.m. Mountain time), mission controllers will command the spacecraft to begin the computer-controlled sequence that will release the sample return capsule.

At 9:56 p.m. Pacific time (10:56 p.m. Mountain time), the Stardust spacecraft will complete the sequence by severing the umbilical cables between spacecraft and capsule. One minute later, springs aboard the spacecraft will literally push the capsule away, putting it into its trajectory toward the Utah Test and Training Range. Fifteen minutes later, the "mother ship," the Stardust spacecraft, will perform a maneuver to enter orbit around the sun.

At 1:57 a.m. Pacific time (2:57 a.m. Mountain time), four hours after being released by the Stardust spacecraft, the capsule will enter Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of 125 kilometers (410,000 feet) over Northern California. At this point it will be 20 kilometers (12.43 miles) east of the Pacific coast and 22 kilometers (13.67 miles) south of the Oregon-California border. The velocity of the sample return capsule as it enters Earth's atmosphere at 46,440 kilometers per hour (28,860 miles per hour) will be the greatest of any human-made object on record. This will surpass the record set in May 1969 during the return of the Apollo 10 command module.

The Stardust sample return capsule will release a drogue parachute at an altitude of approximately 32 kilometers (105,000 feet). Once the capsule has descended to an altitude of about 3 kilometers (10,000 feet) at 2:05 a.m. Pacific time (3:05 a.m. Mountain time), the main parachute will deploy. The capsule is scheduled to land on the salt flats of the Utah Test and Training Range at 2:12 a.m. Pacific time (3:12 a.m. Mountain time).

If weather conditions allow, the recovery team will be flown by helicopter to recover the capsule and fly it to the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, for initial processing. If weather does not allow helicopters to fly, special off-road vehicles will be used to transport the recovery team to retrieve the capsule and return it to Dugway. The collector grid with cometary and interstellar samples will be moved to a special laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, where they will be preserved and studied by scientists.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Stardust mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, developed and operates the spacecraft
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:36:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 7:37:10 PM EDT by david_g17]

The capsule should land in the Utah desert at 0312 local time (1012 GMT).


not sure either.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4605132.stm
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:46:16 PM EDT
Okay, it looks like it will re-enter tonight at 2AM.

This capsule will be the fastest man-made object ever to re-enter the atmosphere. It should be spectacular!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:54:22 PM EDT


That is absolutely fucking amazing technology - to launch something like that, and have it comes back that precisely seven years later. Wow.

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:58:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 7:58:47 PM EDT by AyeGuy]
It's mission was to collect primordial comet material (possibly organic precursors to life on Earth) in an aerogel container.

Let's just hope it doesn't contain ZOMBIE spores...
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:00:47 PM EDT
Didn't 'Shaun of the Dead' start out this way?

Still very cool.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:01:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jason99xj:
Didn't 'Shaun of the Dead' start out this way?

Still very cool.




The Andromeda Strain certainly did.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:04:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:08:30 PM EDT
I might just see if I can capture this bad boy on film. I might as well make the best out of being stuck up here in NorKali.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:09:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 8:10:29 PM EDT by AyeGuy]

Originally Posted By 50cal:
Any of you zombie hunters in Cali ready?



For those of us older AR owners with real ARs, tonight should make for safe and sane Zombie shootin'

For the new guys with FAB-10s, things could get dicey...
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:12:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAR-10:
I might just see if I can capture this bad boy on film. I might as well make the best out of being stuck up here in NorKali.



If you go to the NASA website I linked to, you will see that NASA actually is soliciting all ameteur video filmers to collect all the video they can, to aid in the documentation of this event.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:23:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By jason99xj:
Didn't 'Shaun of the Dead' start out this way?

Still very cool.




The Andromeda Strain certainly did.



Now there's a book I haven't read in a while. I think I'll watch a bit of the movie version tonight.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:34:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:

Originally Posted By CAR-10:
I might just see if I can capture this bad boy on film. I might as well make the best out of being stuck up here in NorKali.



If you go to the NASA website I linked to, you will see that NASA actually is soliciting all ameteur video filmers to collect all the video they can, to aid in the documentation of this event.



Yeah, I'm looking at it now.

I'll see what I can do. Unfortunately though it's rather cloudy out right now. I've got a great observation point picked out and everything, but I think the weather may inhibit my viewing of it. The only light polution I'd be picking up would be from the PAVE PAWS which is right smack below where it will travel across the horizon.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:40:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 8:40:40 PM EDT by gaspain]
what time PST will it be visible in Seattle?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:45:56 PM EDT
It looks like 1:56:39 a.m. PST
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:49:23 PM EDT
It will reenter at approximately 2AM PST.

Elevation above the horizon is shown in the map above. Depending upon where you are, you may or may not (me) be able to see it. Here in LA, it will only be a few degrees above the horizon and it will be VERY far away at that. Now, if you live in Crescent City, CA or Reno, NV you should get quite a show.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 9:35:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 9:40:24 PM EDT by FishKepr]
Science package detached and on the way now!



Originally Posted By gaspain:
what time PST will it be visible in Seattle?



Alas it will be less that 10 degrees above the horizon up here.

I think I will stay up to watch the landing on the news though.

Ah yes, The Andromeda Strain. Got the book and the movie around here somewhere; definitly one of Crichton's better works.
ETA: I just found out that some production company is going to do a remake as a TV mini-series.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 9:42:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

That is absolutely fucking amazing technology - to launch something like that, and have it comes back that precisely seven years later. Wow.




roger that... awesome stuff.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:54:07 PM EDT
The weather has cleared up here significantly. I'm prepping my gear. Too bad I can't bring a gun to fend off the wildlife. Hopefully I won't run into one of the Beale cougars.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:57:32 PM EDT
It's going to crash.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:58:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By blacklisted:
It's going to crash.



What's you talkin bout?
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 12:01:17 AM EDT
can i watch on tv? If so, Which station?
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 12:04:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CAR-10:

Originally Posted By blacklisted:
It's going to crash.



What's you talkin bout?





The success rate of manned/unmanned space missions has not been that high lately. I'm just making a prediction based on the probability that something will go wrong with this mission.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 12:06:32 AM EDT
Looks like I will have to look about 27* above the horizon here (Eugene, OR). The sky has cleared up here so I should be able to watch this thing off my back porch. Sweet. I'll report back with my viewings.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 12:19:03 AM EDT
I'm going outside in about 30 minutes.

Its supposed to be about 20 degrees above the horizon here; not much but we'll see...
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 12:47:39 AM EDT
Time to go out if you want to see!

And quit yer bitchin'! I know its cold out there...you can take it
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 1:04:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/15/2006 1:09:13 AM EDT by Bushwacker85]
I didn't see a fucking thing. I know I had a good view. Maybe it did blow up?

ETA and I am pissed because I stood out in the freezing ass cold
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 1:14:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/15/2006 1:18:22 AM EDT by FishKepr]

Originally Posted By Bushwacker85:
I didn't see a fucking thing. I know I had a good view. Maybe it did blow up?

ETA and I am pissed because I stood out in the freezing ass cold



CNN carried it live. It's on the ground now. Landing went off as planned.

ETA: I guess LM put the decelerometer in the right way this time.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 1:17:22 AM EDT
Must have been looking in the wrong spot.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 1:19:11 AM EDT
Okay, that was teh suxxor. It was so misty out and with the light pollution, nothing astronomical was visible below 45 degrees.

Anyone else have any luck?
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 1:26:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/15/2006 1:27:10 AM EDT by FishKepr]
NASATV is available streamed HERE.

They're trying to locate the capsule now using FLIR.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 2:06:04 AM EDT
The recovery team has located the capsule and it appears to be intact. Looks like they pulled this one off!
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 7:33:35 AM EDT
Just one thing since the capsule came back...I went cold all over...and now all I want is brains BRAINS BRAINS
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 9:52:45 AM EDT
I hiked 25 minutes to the location I chose. It was a bit chilly.

I got the tripod and camera set up and focused to where I thought it would come it. A very clear night by the way. And there it went, that sucker was booking across the sky. I didn't get it on film, but it was definitely pretty damn cool.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:02:18 AM EDT
NASA scientists announced that they found good samples from the collectors. Very cool stuff.


(17 January 2006) --- Donald Brownlee, Stardust principal investigator with the University of Washington, flashes a victory sign for the successful arrival of Stardust material. Also pictured are JSC's Mike Zolensky (left), curator and co-investigator for the project; Friedrich Horz, JSC, and Peter Tsou, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Image credit: NASA

(17 January 2006) --- Closeup view of a cometary impact (center) into aerogel was inspected by scientists at a laboratory at the Johnson Space Center hours after the Stardust Sample Return Canister was delivered to the Johnson Space Center from the spacecraft's landing site in Utah. Image credit: NASA
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:25:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FishKepr:
NASA scientists announced that they found good samples from the collectors. Very cool stuff.




Any reports of Zombie outbreaks? This is how that shit gets started you know.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:24:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:
The recovery team has located the capsule and it appears to be intact. Looks like they pulled this one off!

Good for them. I know the commander of Dugway Proving Grounds and my team gave him a lot of shi*t (all in good fun, he gets his jabs in when our stuff fails a test) for failing to catch the last capsule that landed there. (they were trying to hook onto its parachute using a net hanging below a helicopter since its parachute was too small for a soft landing)

Kharn
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:43:45 AM EDT
That's great and all but what are they hoping to find? Comets don't last that long in cosmic time. It's not like there are going to be bacteria on it or anything unusual.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:30:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Planerench:
That's great and all but what are they hoping to find? Comets don't last that long in cosmic time. It's not like there are going to be bacteria on it or anything unusual.



Are you kidding? Long-period comets with only a few passes into the inner solrar system offer us a source of material virtually unchanged for four billion year old material, from the time of the formation of the planets. The hell with bacteria, which they were not expecting anyway.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:22:27 AM EDT
NASA has an interesting video of the reentry taken by the observation plane.

VIDEO HERE. (6.4 MB QT)
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:38:12 AM EDT
You can buy the material the probe used to gather the star dust, Aerogel, from United Nuclear.

What is Aerogel?

Aerogel (also called 'frozen smoke' because of its hazy appearance), is the lightest and lowest-density solid known to exist. Dubbed a 'Super Material', Aerogel is the world's lightest solid, weighing as little as three times that of air and exhibiting superb insulating properties. Although Aerogel looks like it could float away, it has very high compression strength. Theoretically, a block weighing less than a pound could support a weight of half a ton. Aerogel's real strength is its incredible insulating effects on any kind of energy transfer; thermal, electrical or acoustic. Aerogel can damp out almost any kind of energy. A one-inch thick Aerogel window has the same insulation value as 15 panes of glass and trapped air - which means a conventional window would have to be ten-inches thick to equal a one-inch thick Aerogel window. It is typically 50-99.5% air, yet can hold (theoretically) 500 to 4,000 times its weight in applied force. Aerogel can have surface areas ranging from 250 to 3,000 square meters per gram, meaning that a cubic inch (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm) of Aerogel flattened-out (again theoretically) would have more surface area than an entire football field! Aerogel's super low density makes it useful as a lightweight structural material, and its super high internal surface area makes it a superinsulating solid material. Aerogel is transparent with a blue color.

Aerogel is made from Silicon Dioxide, the same material as glass -- only 1,000 times less dense.

Its density is just 3 milligrams per cubic centimeter and it pressure thousands of times greater than its own mass. Its melting point is 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit (1,200 degrees Centigrade).

A large panel of Aerogel was most recently used by NASA in the Stardust mission, which successfully collected collect comet & interstellar dust samples & returned them to Earth. Previously, it was used in the Mars Pathfinder Rover to insulate its components from the large temperature swings on Mars.

www.unitednuclear.com/aerogel.htm
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:50:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:
You can buy the material the probe used to gather the star dust, Aerogel, from United Nuclear.

What is Aerogel?

Aerogel (also called 'frozen smoke' because of its hazy appearance), is the lightest and lowest-density solid known to exist. Dubbed a 'Super Material', Aerogel is the world's lightest solid, weighing as little as three times that of air and exhibiting superb insulating properties. Although Aerogel looks like it could float away, it has very high compression strength. Theoretically, a block weighing less than a pound could support a weight of half a ton. Aerogel's real strength is its incredible insulating effects on any kind of energy transfer; thermal, electrical or acoustic. Aerogel can damp out almost any kind of energy. A one-inch thick Aerogel window has the same insulation value as 15 panes of glass and trapped air - which means a conventional window would have to be ten-inches thick to equal a one-inch thick Aerogel window. It is typically 50-99.5% air, yet can hold (theoretically) 500 to 4,000 times its weight in applied force. Aerogel can have surface areas ranging from 250 to 3,000 square meters per gram, meaning that a cubic inch (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm) of Aerogel flattened-out (again theoretically) would have more surface area than an entire football field! Aerogel's super low density makes it useful as a lightweight structural material, and its super high internal surface area makes it a superinsulating solid material. Aerogel is transparent with a blue color.

Aerogel is made from Silicon Dioxide, the same material as glass -- only 1,000 times less dense.

Its density is just 3 milligrams per cubic centimeter and it pressure thousands of times greater than its own mass. Its melting point is 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit (1,200 degrees Centigrade).

A large panel of Aerogel was most recently used by NASA in the Stardust mission, which successfully collected collect comet & interstellar dust samples & returned them to Earth. Previously, it was used in the Mars Pathfinder Rover to insulate its components from the large temperature swings on Mars.

www.unitednuclear.com/aerogel.htm



That Aerogel sure sounds like it will play an important part in the future. Neat stuff.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 10:23:51 AM EDT
Thanks for the info re the "Aerogel".......our pharmacy director and I are both space nuts and were curious about what the material was. Now, if I just had $38.95 laying around to blow I'd order a chunk of it.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 10:35:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Arkansas_Rocketman:
Thanks for the info re the "Aerogel".......our pharmacy director and I are both space nuts and were curious about what the material was. Now, if I just had $38.95 laying around to blow I'd order a chunk of it.



And just for the heck of it you could order some uranium from them too.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 12:55:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAR-10:

Originally Posted By Arkansas_Rocketman:
Thanks for the info re the "Aerogel".......our pharmacy director and I are both space nuts and were curious about what the material was. Now, if I just had $38.95 laying around to blow I'd order a chunk of it.



And just for the heck of it you could order some uranium from them too.



yellowcake?
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:00:16 PM EDT
My name is on a micro chip that was on that capsule. I never thought it would come back.

stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/overview/microchip/faq.html
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:39:54 PM EDT
no zombies yet...
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:03:39 PM EDT
Do NASA's standard "planetary protection" policies apply to stuff like this? I mean, all kidding aside, do you think they checked it for some nasty-ass living organism before those guys entered the room with only smocks and cloth masks?
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:17:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:

Originally Posted By CAR-10:

Originally Posted By Arkansas_Rocketman:
Thanks for the info re the "Aerogel".......our pharmacy director and I are both space nuts and were curious about what the material was. Now, if I just had $38.95 laying around to blow I'd order a chunk of it.



And just for the heck of it you could order some uranium from them too.



yellowcake?



No, but you could make uranium oxide out of the ore they sell. They also sell U-238 (depleted uranium)
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