Fuck YEAH!

The Stardust probe returned to Earth safely after a seven-year mission to collect comet dust. The return capsule landed safe in the Utah desert with about a teaspoon of the fundamental matter of the solar system, and is en route to Johnson Space Center.

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Published in: on January 15, 2006 at 15:50  Comments (9)  
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9 Comments

  1. Excellent. What sort of testing will they do on it?

  2. Excellent. What sort of testing will they do on it?

  3. Oh, good. That’s just the amount called for in my recipe for spacecakes. I’ve been waiting to make them. 🙂

  4. Oh, good. That’s just the amount called for in my recipe for spacecakes. I’ve been waiting to make them. 🙂

  5. I know! I’m kindof excited to see what comes of it!

  6. I know! I’m kindof excited to see what comes of it!

  7. Well, first and foremost would be spectroscopy to see the precise chemical and isotopic breakdown; there would also be some analysis of the crystal structures, as well as things like gases trapped in the substances, which can tell us a lot about physical conditions out there in the solar system.
    Basically, since comets come from the primordial cloud that the universe congealed out of (there’s still primordial soup left out there, past the orbit of Pluto; get it while it’s cold!) this sort of analysis can tell us a lot about the origins of the solar system, which also implicitly tells us about the distribution of materials that make up solar systems of similar types elsewhere. (For instance, the presence of lots of organic compounds indicates that those form under a pretty broad range of circumstances, which greatly increases the odds of other planets ending up with those…)

  8. Are space probes a regular in the Utah desert? Another point for Utah I guess. Though I think Idaho would like some action too….

  9. Are space probes a regular in the Utah desert? Another point for Utah I guess. Though I think Idaho would like some action too….


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