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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.
Helicopters will be ready to rescue the capsule after it lands. Special off-road vehicles will be on standby in case weather prevents a helicopter pickup.
NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft sent a probe that made a spectacular collision with comet Tempel 1 on July 3, 2005.