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16/01/2006 Spacecraft Stardust returns to Earth with comet dust

It was a robotic probe launched 1999. Its primary mission was to collect dust samples from the coma of comet Wild 2, as well as samples of cosmic dust, and return these to Earth for analysis. It was the first sample return mission of its kind. En route to comet Wild 2, the craft also flew by and studied the asteroid 5535 Annefrank.


  • Essentials 

  • Mission background 

  • Mission profile 

  • New Exploration of Tempel 1 (NExT) 

  • Sample return 

  • Results