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

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2011

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2011

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2011

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.

Stardust update: Almost to Tempel 1

Emily Lakdawalla • February 10, 2011

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).

Stardust update: trajectory correction successful

Emily Lakdawalla • February 01, 2011

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.

Stardust Contest: "Are We There Yet?"

Emily Lakdawalla • February 01, 2011

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!

Stardust update: Tempel 1 Ahoy!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 26, 2011

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • January 22, 2011

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • January 19, 2011

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.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • January 12, 2011

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.

Stardust mission update: 38 days to Tempel 1

Emily Lakdawalla • January 07, 2011

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.

Door 31 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2010

Time to open the thirty-first (and next-to-last) door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system are these dark-rimmed craters?

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Small Worlds

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2010

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Small Worlds, about the smaller denizens of the solar system visited in the past year, and due to be visited in the next.

Two signs we're living in the 21st century: SpaceX and Stardust

Emily Lakdawalla • November 22, 2010

Two brief but significant news items today made me stop and think about how far we've come in space travel.

Five close-approach images of Hartley 2 by Deep Impact, with commentary

Emily Lakdawalla • November 04, 2010

Here's the five close-approach images of Hartley 2 captured today, November 4, 2010, by the Deep Impact spacecraft, collected into one file. Boy, do these images reward close examination!

The Stardust Sample Catalog

Emily Lakdawalla • August 12, 2010

It never ceases to amaze me how much science is being wrung out of the few grams of material that were returned to Earth by the Stardust mission.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2005

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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