On the morning of Friday, Jan. 20, a team from NASA/JSC, the Smithsonian Institution, U. C. Berkeley, and Naval Research Laboratory successfully collected small samples from the Stardust Sample Return Capsule, which is on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. These samples will provide critical information about trace elements and minerals, in order to compare to the measured composition of the three interstellar dust candidates that have been identified so far in the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector. All of these candidates were identified by Stardust@home dusters.
From left to right: Rhonda Stroud (Naval Research Laboratory), Mike Zolensky (NASA/JSC), Dave Frank (NASA/JSC), Malcolm Collum (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum), Laura Westphal (Montessori Family School), Roger Launius (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum), Andrew Westphal (U. C. Berkeley).
Photo credit: Laura Westphal