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Stardust Sample Catalog

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:10 am
by greuti
There is an internet sample catalog in order to allocate stardust samples to the planetary science community: ... /index.cfm

Interesting for us, there are plenty of great high resolution pictures of tracks from the stardust cometary tray and from the tray tiles itself!

For example have a look at the tracks from tile C2054: ... C2054.html
In the first picture top left you can even clearly see the entry hole (bullet hole) from above.

I wonder if such a catalog will also be done for the IS collector sometime. Apropos, looking at the high resolution tiles pictures from the cometary tray ... Tiles.html I guess there must be similar pictures from the IS tray photographed at the same time in the lab... Is there a chance to have a look at them by now?!?

Just spotted the link in "Level 1 Photodocumentation" to the foto documentation of the Tray Separation activities: ... ration.pdf

From page 9 of this nice documentation ^^:
Fully rotated tray assembly; refer to Step 6.6.2 in TSP. This was the first opportunity to view the exposed surface of the cometary collector. The Interstellar side is facing towards the rear and was extensively photographed in this position (see Level 1 Photodocumentation)
But there is not yet publicly available a Level 1 Photodocumentation from the interstellar side, is it?

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:46 pm
by bmendez
Hi greuti,

I am not sure if that photodocumentation is publicly availble yet. It would be fun to look at. I will make some inquires.

Note, that any such pictures would not be very helpful in our search. The tracks made by interstellar particles are too small to be seen by the naked eye or the cameras used in the photodocumentation.


Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:50 pm
by jsmaje
Thanks for those links greuti - fascinating. It's always instructive to see how things actually 'happen' *.

Of particular interest to me were the high definition pictures, thereby gaining a sense of scale and extent of the aerogel surface artefacts we regularly contend with. The dust contamination seems pretty much random, as one would expect, but each tile seems to have its own particular problems. Does anyone here know whether the aerogel tiles were created in situ, or made separately, cut to shape & then inserted into the aluminium collector? And to what extent are their surface artefacts due to initial manufacturing / installation / launch / space expose / landing / recovery / curatoring factors, etc?
Bryan, can you enlighten?

* I'll never forget as a boy being shown round a factory with live pigs being marched through one door and seeing how they ended up as pork pies coming out the other! - it never put me off being an omnivore though, simply gave me a dose of reality!

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:05 am
by greuti
jsmaje wrote:Does anyone here know whether the aerogel tiles were created in situ, or made separately, cut to shape & then inserted into the aluminium collector?
According of ... rogel.html (look at the second picture from bottom-up) they were made separately and, as you can read in the text, even in varying density...
But even more challenging was the fact that the aerogel tiles would have to be of varying density: very light and porous on the surface of the collector, but increasingly dense towards the back
You could additionally search on the internet after terms like "Steven Jones aerogel stardust" "producing stardust tile" "stardust aeorgel tile" "fitting tiles into stardust tray" etc. You may be faster than me because of our different native language, I guess. In other words I could not find anything of concreteness so far.

Beside other interesting pictures (there especially that where you can see a size comparison between a large track and the tile)

cut and shaped or pored ?

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:06 am
by fjgiie
jsmaje wrote:Does anyone here know whether the aerogel tiles were created in situ, or made separately, cut to shape & then inserted into the aluminium collector?

"Jones also assembled the collectors by manually inserting the aerogel material into the collector grids."

Even though this seems to say "inserted" I think we should get an answer from the team as whether the aerogel was pored or cut and shaped to fit. The uneven surface and especially around the edges seem to be signs of not cut and shapped, but pored and with some surface-tension effect. I can imagine that it could be both. (same statement)
greuti wrote:According of ... rogel.html (look at the second picture from bottom-up) they were made separately and, as you can read in the text, even in varying density.
The caption of that picture is probably our answer:
Stardust aerogel
An aerogel tile of the type used in the
Stardust collector. Next to it is a glass mold,
used for producing such tiles. Credit: Amir
Alexander, The Planetary Society


That glass mold looks like it is shaped like a tile.


Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:44 am
by ZackG
The tiles were made individually in a mold and "cooked" in an autoclave (kind of like a really hot, high-tech oven). I hear they shrink just a hair when they firm up so they don't generally stick to the mold and can be easily removed. Then they were shoved into the collector ... very carefully ...

They're not cut because aerogel doesn't cut easily. It's much easier to just form it in the shape you want in the first place.



Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:41 pm
by jsmaje
Thanks greuti, fjgiie & Zack for all the links and information about the aerogel tile manufacture and installation processes.
I should (or at least could) have read these before.

But what about the second part of my question, i.e. the cause(s) of the various artefacts we see? For example, all those inclusions, the trails of 'chevrons', the triangular pits within circular deformations, the horizontally-cracked double-surfaces, wavy oceans, 'bacterial colonies', hair or asbestos-like fibres, 'spiders' and so on. Are they common to all aerogel that's manufactured throughout the world by whatever manner, by whomever, and for whatever purpose?

Or might they be specific to JPL's (Steven Jones's) particular processes, due perhaps to the very special requirements of the Stardust mission (e.g. that graduated density?) And if not simply a manufacturing issue, what about the effects of subsequent installation / launch / space expose / landing / recovery / curatoring factors, etc?

No doubt there are no simple answers, or which may be answerable yet. I think I understand the ubiquitous 'inclusions' a bit better at the chemical level from some of the references I've seen, but regarding 'chevrons' for example, the only somewhat unsatisfying hint I remember reading was that they 'may have been due to minute air currents'...? And what about the rest?

For a start, were all (or at least some of) the tiles photographed before launch in the same detail as our present VM and the team's hi-res movies? If so, what did their surfaces look like then, and if not, why not? All I've read is that the tiles looked 'as pristine' on recovery as before launch, but only (I think) by naked eye.

(with apologies to fflo for my top-ten posters ranking! Can't help being curious!)

Stardust Interstellar Sample Catalog

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:15 am
by fjgiie
From HERE go to the first track.

Click on I1017A.jpg (Post Keystone). If you will look closely, right of center and down some you can see where the keystone was taken. Place your mouse pointer there and click to see a magnified image of the spot where the keystone was taken. :)

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:59 am
by greuti
How cool! Especially to get too the high resolution pictures from level 2 photodocumentation where the keystones are extracted!

The way the keystones be extracted seems to show the direction wherefrom the high angle track particles entered into the aerogel of the collector.

Immediately tried to get a sign of the track in level 2 that was extracted first from tile I1017 (track I1), but can't see anything from the tube. Although the length of the tube should be long enough horizontally to be visible, isn't it. It's like the Chinese wall from the International Space Station I guess - too small breadthwise, and too little melted aerogel around the tube.

Note to FireFox browser user: Get first this site of the catalog ... /index.cfm