Missions

Stardust
Overview:

Stardust was the first space mission dedicated to studying a comet and the first mission to return solid extraterrestrial samples to Earth since the final Apollo mission in 1972. Stardust captured thousands of particles of comet dust during a daring close encounter with comet Wild 2. It also brought back samples of interstellar dust that may consist of ancient presolar grains that are older than our solar system. Analysis of these fascinating celestial specks will yield important insights into the nature and origin of comets, the evolution of our solar system, and possibly even the origin of life itself.