Images: Streaking home with piece of comet's tail

Images: Streaking home with piece of comet's tail

Summary: NASA's Stardust space capsule, loaded with captured comet dust, is expected to make a grand return to Earth.

TOPICS: Nasa / Space

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  • parachuting

    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.

  • landing

    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.

  • Deep Impact

    NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft sent a probe that made a spectacular collision with comet Tempel 1 on July 3, 2005.

Topic: Nasa / Space

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