Media coverage of Stardust & Stardust@home

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Media coverage of Stardust & Stardust@home

Post by Nikita » Sun May 21, 2006 9:31 pm

Hi gang!

I wanted to post a couple of places outside the Stardust, Interplanetary Scoiety, Berkeley & NASA spots where I have found info on the mission. If anyone else finds anything, could you also post? I'd like to see what is being said.

First the Science channel (cable & American only?) had a program about Stardust. It gave a great overview of the mission, but stopped shortly after arrival.

NEWSFACTOR Magazine, June 2006 had a small blurb about it (Pg 17). It was very basic - but it was there! I immediately took it to people I knew to show them what I was talking about. Their website is www.newsfactor.com. I don't know if it will have anything on it, but you could possibly get the magazine there if you are interested.

Anyway, I hope other people are just as interested to see what media attention this gets.
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Post by Bosniac » Mon May 22, 2006 12:59 am

I first heard of stardust on CNN
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Post by Lollia » Mon May 22, 2006 2:43 am

I first heard of Stardust@home on Rai3 news (its scientific section called "Leonardo"). The journalist did not give any Internet address, but suggested to perform an Internet search with the words "Stardust at home".
I did it, and here I am. :) :)

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Post by alexander » Mon May 22, 2006 6:21 am

Way back, a few days before the capsule returned, there was a story on slashdot talking about Stardust@Home. That's how I heard about the project.

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Post by Nikita » Mon May 22, 2006 6:34 am

alexander wrote:Way back, a few days before the capsule returned, there was a story on slashdot talking about Stardust@Home. That's how I heard about the project.
Thanks for the info. I looked it up and I may have another website to visit!
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Wrote an newsarticle about Stardust@home on wikinews

Post by vonHalenbach » Mon May 22, 2006 9:02 am

Hello there !

I wrote an article on the german section of wikinews. Look here:

http://de.wikinews.org/wiki/Stardust%40 ... mt_in_Gang

I don´t want to translate all but it is basically a coarse description about the stardust project, the virtual micoscope and that are volunteers still welcome to join the project.

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Post by mattp » Mon May 22, 2006 2:33 pm

The BBC website has a few stories about Stardust.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4607318.stm

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Post by the martian » Mon May 22, 2006 2:58 pm

My friend loves NASA, and is very interested in space projects so SHE told me about Stardust
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Post by Stacy » Mon May 22, 2006 6:33 pm

I found out about the Stardust program in GEOTIMES magazine published by the American Geological Institute. I beleive that it was the March '06 issuse.
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Re: Wrote an newsarticle about Stardust@home on wikinews

Post by Siegfried » Mon May 22, 2006 9:02 pm

vonHalenbach wrote:Hello there !

I wrote an article on the german section of wikinews. Look here:

http://de.wikinews.org/wiki/Stardust%40 ... mt_in_Gang

I don´t want to translate all but it is basically a coarse description about the stardust project, the virtual micoscope and that are volunteers still welcome to join the project.
No need. I have the English version saved in my bookmarks somewhere...
Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardust_%28spacecraft%29

I saw a program while riding the Metro 156 in Van Nuys. It was subtitles only.

I also watched something similar, I think it was for some solar probe though, that used some sort of collection plates (probably aerogel as well), and they trained movie stuntment to catch it with some sort of catching thing on a helicopter. They passed with "flying" colors, until the actual run, where it ended up crash-landing.
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Re: Wrote an newsarticle about Stardust@home on wikinews

Post by Aquila Hawk » Mon May 22, 2006 9:40 pm

Siegfried wrote:I also watched something similar, I think it was for some solar probe though, that used some sort of collection plates (probably aerogel as well), and they trained movie stuntment to catch it with some sort of catching thing on a helicopter. They passed with "flying" colors, until the actual run, where it ended up crash-landing.
That was the Genesis Spacecraft and it used much more flashy material. Realilistically (anyone correct me if I'm wrong) it could probably have been done with Aerogel, but they deceided that waffers of Ruby, Gold, and Diamond would be more beneficial. Also, they deceided on the stupid catch plan that looked to be more of a plublicity stunt then anything. Seriously, the Stardust probe was the fastest reentry vehicle and it landed like like a Soyuz in the desert. Simple (reletively) return to Earth. Ah well, they were able to salvage some of the samples from Genesis.
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Re: Wrote an newsarticle about Stardust@home on wikinews

Post by albutterworth » Mon May 22, 2006 10:10 pm

Aquila Hawk wrote:That was the Genesis Spacecraft and it used much more flashy material. Realilistically (anyone correct me if I'm wrong) it could probably have been done with Aerogel, but they deceided that waffers of Ruby, Gold, and Diamond would be more beneficial. Also, they deceided on the stupid catch plan that looked to be more of a plublicity stunt then anything. Seriously, the Stardust probe was the fastest reentry vehicle and it landed like like a Soyuz in the desert. Simple (reletively) return to Earth. Ah well, they were able to salvage some of the samples from Genesis.
Hi there
speaking as a member of both the Genesis and Stardust Science teams (and not as Stardust@home mod. on this one :-) )

Stardust and Genesis are sister missions (NASA Discovery 4 and 5) and they used the same parachute deployment mechanism. It's just the way the dice rolled that Stardust launched first and Genesis ended up with a flaw that prevented the chutes from opening on its return.

The reason for the different collection materials was that Stardust was collecting chunks of rock from a comet and Genesis was collecting solar wind - atom by atom. Most of the collector area was silicon (very pure), which is brittle, hence the need for a soft landing.

The great news for Genesis is that the ultimate science goals are still all pursued. We just have a lot more (small) samples and the measurements take longer because of the necessary clean-up.

It's such a pity that there was so much negative publicity around what continues to be an outstanding mission. On the other hand, it makes Stardust all the more spectacular because the entire 3 billion mile journey finished so perfectly.


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Post by Aquila Hawk » Tue May 23, 2006 9:40 am

Alright, here's my question about the Genesis probe. Why did they use such materials as gold and ruby along with the silica plates. To me that seemed a bit more for flash. As far as I can tell, the collection process would potentially cause small defects in the crystaline structure of the plates and could used to find the particles. So what was the idea behid the other, more expensive materials? Was it for a contrast to the silica samples or did they react differently to different elements?

Another thing that comes to mind in respect to the landing, why was the helicopter idea used instead of someother landing technique? The first thing that comes to mind for me is the airbag system used on the MERs and Pathfinder. Combined with parachutes that remained deployed until touch down, there should have been sufficient protection for the return vehicle. However, since the probe's chute did not deploy, this really is all speculative, but it seems like a less risky recovery. I have to also say that the probe failing to deploy it's chute, falling over a hundred kilometers through an atmosphere known for reducing metors to the size of peables, crash landing, and still have viable scientific material says a lot about the durability of the spacecraft and it's design.
Everyone talks about SOH CAH TOA, but no one ever talks about CHO SHA CAO.

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Post by cthiker » Tue May 23, 2006 10:07 am

Aquila Hawk wrote:Alright, here's my question about the Genesis probe. Why did they use such materials as gold and ruby along with the silica plates. To me that seemed a bit more for flash. As far as I can tell, the collection process would potentially cause small defects in the crystaline structure of the plates and could used to find the particles. So what was the idea behid the other, more expensive materials? Was it for a contrast to the silica samples or did they react differently to different elements?

Another thing that comes to mind in respect to the landing, why was the helicopter idea used instead of someother landing technique? The first thing that comes to mind for me is the airbag system used on the MERs and Pathfinder. Combined with parachutes that remained deployed until touch down, there should have been sufficient protection for the return vehicle. However, since the probe's chute did not deploy, this really is all speculative, but it seems like a less risky recovery. I have to also say that the probe failing to deploy it's chute, falling over a hundred kilometers through an atmosphere known for reducing metors to the size of peables, crash landing, and still have viable scientific material says a lot about the durability of the spacecraft and it's design.
Hi Aquila Hawk!

(With apologies to Anna...) I'll try to take a stab at this one, even though my science background is in healthcare, not astrophysics!

Those metals are far more dense than aerogel, which would be necessary to stop an atom (versus a particle). Akin to catching a baseball as against a boulder. I can stop a rolling boulder with a coarse wire-mesh net (if it's not going too fast), but the baseball will probably fly right thru the webbing. Silicon has the density and is very layered, I believe (accounting in part for its use in Integrated Circuits), so the atom is flying through a succession of 'brick walls' which slows it down with (hopefully) minimal destructive force, although atoms are pretty hearty creatures! The atom would probably just fly right through the aerogel unimpeded.

As far as the capture versus landing decision, I'd think of this as trying to land with a package of cotton balls (aerogel) versus a package of crystal glassware (silicon). Even a meager 'bounce' could cause havoc on the crystal but not even phase material as resilient (and flexible) as the cotton. The helicopter 'catch' was, I think, meant to ease the transition in speed and direction, and to minimize the effect of rebounding (the back and forth stress which is repeated as motion energy is released) It's rather like going into a rubber net versus bouncing off of a rubber mat (and bouncing again and again).

Well, enough of these "versus" - but I couldn't resist making the attempt...I just hope it was helpful! However, all you physicists (and geologists, etc.) out there, hammer away if I've misled in any way...

Thanks!!!

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Post by albutterworth » Tue May 23, 2006 10:37 am

This is going a little off-topic with regards to Stardust@home, but considering sample return from space as a broader topic:

The science goals of Genesis are to measure very accurately, very precisely, much of the periodic table of elements and their isotopes in the Sun's photosphere.

The first part was collecting the elements as individually charged atoms (ions) in the solar wind, by implanting the ions into the surface of ultra-pure collectors (Aerogel is not suitable either by form or purity, nor is it any less expensive)

The second part is getting the atoms out to measure them in highly specialized labs around the world. Different collector materials are suitable for the extraction and analysis of different elements. For example silicon cannot be used for oxygen analysis, but diamond and silicon carbide can. Each material used is matched to an element and an analytical technique.

No-one knew the parachutes were going to fail. The flaw was only discovered after the crash. It wasn't the mid-air capture that was risky - that bit was shown to be easy! The hard part is getting a spacecraft to launch, operate in space, return 1 million miles, and deploy chutes... without anything going wrong. That part is really difficult (as past attempts to land on Mars have shown).


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