CAMERA CAPTURES THE MOON
took a picture of the Moon as the spacecraft flew by Earth
on Monday, January 15, 2001, getting a gravitation speed boost
from its home planet. The clarity of the image demonstrates
the success of recent efforts to clear the camera of contaminants
that had obscured its view.
Down On The North Pole
(Click on the image to enlarge)
picture shows the kind of detail the team expects to get when
the camera flies by Comet Wild 2 in January 2004. Stardust's
../../../images of the comet's surface are expected to be 10 times
better than any previous picture of comet nuclei.
will see the size and shape of the comet and be able to detect
small craters, variations in the brightness, dirty dusty areas,
and newly iced surfaces," said Project Manager Tom Duxbury.
Stardust will also collect dust from the comet to return to
Earth for study in laboratories.
the gravity-assist phase, the closest Earth approach was at
3:20 a.m. PST when the spacecraft flew just southeast of the
southern tip of Africa. It was traveling about 3,700 miles
(5,950 kilometers) from the Earth's surface and moving at
about 22,400 miles per hour (36,050 kilometers per hour).
more information on the mission, see the Stardust
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