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Scientists test the comet dust collector before the launch of Stardust, in February 1999.
Scientists who will examine the comet particles returned by Stardust try on their protective gear. The team has been preparing for the transport of the capsule containing comet debris into a clean room where it will documented, processed and analyzed.
At about 9:57 p.m. PST on Jan. 14, Stardust will release its capsule, which is filled with comet dust. Four hours later the capsule will release a drouge parachute 110,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. The main chute will open when it is about 10,000 feet above land. Here is an artist's concept of Stardust's sample return capsule parachuting down to Earth.