Emily LakdawallaFeb 14, 2011

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

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. The dust flux monitor recorded impacts through closest approach as expected. The spacecraft was 181 kilometers from Tempel 1 at closest approach, slightly closer than the predicted 191 kilometers (but within the 12-kilometer error estimate). The spacecraft has returned to cruise mode and should start relaying images back to Earth in a little less than three hours.