Begins Collecting Interstellar Dust
Stardust spacecraft successfully deployed its aerogel collector
and began collecting interstellar dust from a stream of particles
that flows through our solar system. After the collector was
fully deployed, all subsystems were verified to be operating
aerogel collector has two sides, one designed to gather interstellar
dust, while the other is for future comet dust collection.
Engineers can control which side of the collector is exposed
to a dust stream by orienting the spacecraft. Right now, Stardust
is oriented so that the interstellar dust particles are hitting
the backside of the collector. The current interstellar dust
collection will continue through at least May 25.
more details about this historic event, please see the Flight
Director's Status Report or the media
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