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In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the spacecraft Stardust is on display for a media presentation. Stardust is targeted for launch on Feb. 6 aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from Launch Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Station. The spacecraft is destined for a close encounter with the comet Wild 2 in January 2004. Using a silicon-based substance called aerogel, Stardust will capture comet particles flying off the nucleus of the comet. The spacecraft also will bring back samples of interstellar dust. These materials consist of ancient pre-solar interstellar grains and other remnants left over from the formation of the solar system. Scientists expect their analysis to provide important insights into the evolution of the sun and planets and possibly into the origin of life itself. The collected samples will return to Earth in a sample return capsule (the white-topped, blunt-nosed cone seen on the top of the spacecraft) to be jettisoned as Stardust swings by Earth in January 2006

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. — While a co-worker (left) looks on, a worker (right) places the high gain antenna onto the solar panel of the Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) spacecraft. Scheduled for launch July 1, 2002, from LC 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, CONTOUR will provide the first detailed look into the heart of a comet — the nucleus. The spacecraft will fly as close as 60 miles (100 kilometers) to at least two comets, Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann 3. It will take the sharpest pictures yet of the nucleus while analyzing the gas and dust that surround these rocky, icy building blocks of the solar system. The Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., built CONTOUR and will also be in control of the spacecraft after launch

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. — The NASA Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) spacecraft arrived at KSC on April 24 and was transported to the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2) to begin final preparations for launch. CONTOUR will provide the first detailed look into the heart of a comet – the nucleus. The spacecraft will fly as close as 60 miles (100 kilometers) to at least two comets, Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, taking the sharpest pictures yet of the nucleus while analyzing the gas and dust that surround these rocky, icy building blocks of the solar system. The Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., built CONTOUR and will also be in control of the spacecraft after launch, scheduled for July 1, 2002, from LC 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. — In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility 2 (SAEF-2), a worker places a replica of the United States flag onto the Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) spacecraft. CONTOUR is being prepared for antenna and solar panel installation. CONTOUR will provide the first detailed look into the heart of a comet — the nucleus. The spacecraft will fly as close as 60 miles (100 kilometers) to at least two comets, Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann 3. It will take the sharpest pictures yet of the nucleus while analyzing the gas and dust that surround these rocky, icy building blocks of the solar system. The Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., built CONTOUR and will also be in control of the spacecraft after launch, which is scheduled for July 1, 2002, from LC 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

U.S. spacewalk on ISS on This Week @NASA – October 10, 2014

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 41 Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency donned U.S. spacesuits for an October 7 spacewalk to relocate a failed cooling pump and to install a backup power cable device for the station’s rail car system. The failed pump was replaced with a spare and is being temporarily stowed near the Quest airlock and the back-up power cables are for the unlikely event that the Mobile Transporter rail car on the station’s truss loses power. Also, A comet’s Mars flyby, Brightest pulsar! Total Lunar Eclipse and LADEE wins Popular Mechanics award!

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. — On Launch Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Boeing Delta II rocket is lifted up the gantry. The rocket is the launch vehicle for the CONTOUR spacecraft, scheduled to launch July 1. CONTOUR will provide the first detailed look into the heart of a comet — the nucleus. The spacecraft will fly close to at least two comets, Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, taking pictures of the nucleus while analyzing the gas and dust that surround these rocky, icy building blocks of the solar system.

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. — On Launch Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a technician works beneath the Boeing Delta II rocket that will be the launch vehicle for the CONTOUR spacecraft, scheduled to launch July 1. CONTOUR will provide the first detailed look into the heart of a comet — the nucleus. The spacecraft will fly close to at least two comets, Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, taking pictures of the nucleus while analyzing the gas and dust that surround these rocky, icy building blocks of the solar system.

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. — On Launch Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, workers oversee the lifting of the Boeing Delta II rocket into the gantry above. The rocket is the launch vehicle for the CONTOUR spacecraft, scheduled to launch July 1. CONTOUR will provide the first detailed look into the heart of a comet — the nucleus. The spacecraft will fly close to at least two comets, Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, taking pictures of the nucleus while analyzing the gas and dust that surround these rocky, icy building blocks of the solar system.

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Photo by Peter McGregor Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacting Jupiter; impact of Fragment G of Comet Shoemaker-Levy on Jupiter. The fireball is seen 12 minutes after impact at 2.34 microns. The impact A site is seen on the oposite limb of the planet. Image at 2.34 microns with CASPIR by Peter McGregor ANU 2.3m telescope at Siding Spring. (JPL Ref; P-44419)

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In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, workers get ready to install a science panel on the spacecraft Stardust. Scheduled to be launched aboard a Boeing Delta 7426 rocket from Complex 17, Cape Canaveral Air Station, on Feb. 6, 1999, Stardust will use a unique medium called aerogel to capture comet particles flying off the nucleus of comet Wild 2 in January 2004, plus collect interstellar dust for later analysis. The collected samples will return to Earth in a re-entry capsule to be jettisoned as it swings by Earth in January 2006