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First image from Stardust! ...but a delay for the close-approach ones

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/15 02:25 CST

Here it is, the first image from Stardust of Tempel 1 during the close-approach phase!

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Stardust update: Things seem to have gone well with Tempel 1 flyby

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/14 10:19 CST

Just a brief update on the Stardust flyby of Tempel 1, which happened about half an hour ago: the spacecraft seems to have executed the flyby as commanded and has 72 science images on board.

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Stardust flies by Tempel 1 in 5 hours, and I'll be watching!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/14 04:42 CST

Stardust is very close to the last major act of its mission: the flyby of Tempel 1, which will take place at 20:40 PST (04:40 UTC). Here's a summary of the recent and current status of the mission, and how to follow the events over the next 24 hours.

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Stardust update: Almost to Tempel 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/10 11:06 CST

We're coming up on the final days of Stardust's approach to Tempel 1. The flyby takes place on February 15 at 04:56 UTC (February 14 at 20:56 PST).

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Stardust update: trajectory correction successful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/01 10:03 CST

Now that Stardust has images of its target comet to work with, the mission was able to figure out their relative positions more precisely, and they've gone ahead with an important rocket firing that shifts the spacecraft's aimpoint past the comet closer to the number that they want.

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Stardust Contest: "Are We There Yet?"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/01 09:44 CST

There's a new Planetary Society contest: "Are We There Yet? -- Measuring Stardust's Cosmic Journey." How far do you think Stardust will have traveled to get to Tempel 1? Guess here and get a chance to win a cool T-shirt!

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Stardust update: Tempel 1 Ahoy!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/26 08:37 CST

It is with great relief that I now report that JPL announced this evening the sighting of Tempel 1 by Stardust, a mere month before the planned flyby.

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Stardust update: Tempel 1 not yet spotted by spacecraft, hopefully next week

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/22 03:13 CST

A new update has been posted to the Stardust website: The spacecraft continues to operate as expected and all subsystems are healthy on approach to comet Tempel 1.

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Stardust prepares for first second look at a comet: Tempel 1 on February 14

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/19 02:53 CST

A press briefing was held at NASA Headquarters this morning to preview the planned February 14 encounter by Stardust with Tempel 1. There aren't often lots of questions from media after these "preview" briefings, but today there were zero. That's not good.

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365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/12 10:32 CST

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011, about what to look forward to in solar system exploration this year.

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Stardust mission update: 38 days to Tempel 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/07 10:25 CST

Stardust is healthy after performing a "cold boot" to clear a memory address problem (a "memory address latch-up") that occurred late last year and caused the spacecraft to go into safe mode three times.

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What's up in the solar system in January 2010

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/04 01:29 CST

While we don't have Moon bases, we do have plenty of spacecraft. Before I get into my more detailed look at the activities of the 20-odd spacecraft wandering about the solar system, I thought I'd look ahead to 2010 more generally and see what the year has in store for us.

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Big News for Hayabusa: It wasn't hovering, it landed!!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/11/23 07:21 CST

Remember how Hayabusa was virtually still for 30 minutes? JAXA is now saying that Hayabusa actually touched down -- and more than that, they may even have a sample.

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