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Stardust Flyby of Comet Wild-2

Anita Carpenter

November 26, 2013

Stardust Flyby of Comet Wild-2

I was on console in the spacecraft operations center in Denver for this. It blew my mind that we could display an image of Wild-2 on our workstation screen only about an hour after the flyby, which occurred 240 million miles away. It was so amazing to see what we had been driving our little spacecraft to for five years! And the spacecraft wasn't destroyed, as some had feared, even though we flew it within 140 miles of the coma. Got the sample and returned it to Earth two years later -- first ever.

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