NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Lessons Learned from the Stardust Sample Return MissionThese are science and mission design and operations lessons learned from the Stardust Mission, which returned grains from comet Wild-2 and fresh interstellar dust to Earth in 2006 [1]. Science Lessons: Major discoveries of the Stardust Wild-2 samples include the presence of numerous chondrules and CAI in a comet, which requires a much more dynamic early solar system than many had envisaged, and verified predictions made by models requiring outward flow of early solar system solids before the early nebular gas had dissipated [1-3]. No evidence has been found for the presence of live Al-26 in the comet, suggesting late accretion [4]. Carbonates and unusual sulfides were found which potentially require activity of liquid water within the comet, but to only a minor degree at best [5-6]. The presence of abundant thermally-metamorphosed silicates in Wild-2 appears to require assembly from an earlier generation of bodies [7]. The abundance of presolar grains in the Wild-2 samples appears to be below what has been found in most chondritic IDPs and primitive chondrites [1]. The bulk mineralogy of Wild-2 grains does not match the mineralogy from any single other known astromaterial [7], and is also strikingly unlike that inferred from Spitzer Telescope spectra of Comet Temple 1 dust [8]. Amino acids and other fragile organics have been detected among the Wild-2 samples [9], which highlights the critical importance of further developing techniques for organic analysis in small samples, and cleaning outbound spacecraft.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Zolensky, M. E.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
March 13, 2014
Publication Date
October 16, 2013
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 2013 HayabusaSymposium
Location: Sagamihara
Country: Japan
Start Date: October 16, 2013
End Date: October 18, 2013
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available