Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stardust Launch Successful -- First-Ever Spacecraft Sent To Bring Sample Of Comet Sample Back To Earth

Date:
February 8, 1999
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's Stardust spacecraft successfully shot into a clear blue sky atop a Delta II rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Station at 4:04:15 p.m. EST (1:04:15 p.m. PST) today to become the first U.S. mission destined for a comet, and the first-ever spacecraft sent to bring a sample of a comet sample back to Earth.

NASA's Stardust spacecraft successfully shot into a clear blue sky atop a Delta II rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Station at 4:04:15 p.m. EST (1:04:15 p.m. PST) today to become the first U.S. mission destined for a comet, and the first-ever spacecraft sent to bring a sample of a comet sample back to Earth.

Related Articles


The Stardust team reported that the spacecraft was in excellent health and that its power and temperature levels are normal. The spacecraft is in communication with NASA's Deep Space Network, and is controlled through the mission operations area at Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colo., and monitored at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., where the mission is managed.

Sixty-six seconds after liftoff, the four solid rocket motors on the Delta were discarded and the first stage continued to burn until it shut down and fell away about 4 minutes, 30 seconds into the mission. A few seconds later, the Delta's second stage ignited and burned for about 5 minutes, cutting off at 9 minutes, 55 seconds into the mission. Almost immediately after the second-stage ignition, the fairing or nose-cone enclosure around the Stardust spacecraft was jettisoned.

After coasting for about 11 minutes, the second-stage engine restarted and burned for about 2 minutes. The third stage separated from the second stage 24 minutes, 27 seconds into the mission; the Star 37 third stage ignited 25 minutes, 4 seconds into the mission, burning for about 2 minutes. At 27 minutes, 19 seconds into the mission -- or 4:31:34 p.m. EST -- the Stardust spacecraft separated from the Delta's third stage, stopping its spinning by firing onboard thrusters. About 4 minutes after separation, Stardust's solar arrays began to unfold and pointed toward the Sun. The spacecraft's signal was successfully acquired by the NASA Deep Space Network complex in Canberra, Australia, 51 minutes after launch at 4:55 p.m. EST.

Stardust is on a flight path that will deliver it to Comet Wild-2 (pronounced "Vilt-2" on January 2, 2004. The spacecraft will gather particles flying off the nucleus of the comet. In addition, Stardust will attempt to gather samples from a stream of interstellar dust that flows through the solar system. Captured in a glass foam called aerogel, the comet and interstellar dust samples will be enclosed in a clamshell-like capsule that will be dropped off for reentry into Earth's atmosphere in January 2006. Equipped with parachutes, the capsule will float to a pre-selected spot in the Utah desert, where it will be retrieved and its contents delivered to scientists for detailed analysis.

Editor's Note: The Stardust Home Page can be found at http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Stardust Launch Successful -- First-Ever Spacecraft Sent To Bring Sample Of Comet Sample Back To Earth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208072217.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (1999, February 8). Stardust Launch Successful -- First-Ever Spacecraft Sent To Bring Sample Of Comet Sample Back To Earth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208072217.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Stardust Launch Successful -- First-Ever Spacecraft Sent To Bring Sample Of Comet Sample Back To Earth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208072217.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after NASA declared the Kepler spacecraft broken beyond repair, scientists have figured out how to continue getting useful data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins