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Second Comet is a First
On January 15, 2006, the Stardust spacecraft completed one history-making mission and began another. Returning from a rendezvous with comet Wild (pronounced "Vilt") 2, the spacecraft approached Earth and jettisoned the capsule containing particles from the comet and interstellar dust. The capsule landed safely and on-target, southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, completing the world's first sample return from a comet. The spacecraft, responding to commands from the mission's navigators, flew past Earth and began an orbit around the sun that would bring it near the planet every 3 years.
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Artist rendering of Stardust-NeXT spacecraft approaching Earth's gravitational pull

Stardust Flies by Earth
January 14, 2009 - After being placed in hibernation, the Stardust spacecraft has begun a new journey to resurvey comet Tempel 1. In preparation for the Feb. 14, 2011 encounter with comet Tempel 1, the spacecraft team is performing a few housekeeping activities. One of those activities is to take a series of images to calibrate the navigation camera's performance.
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Atmospheric debris from a comet or asteroid that collided with Jupiter

Jupiter Captured Comet for 12 Years in Last Century
September 14, 2009 - Comet 147P/Kushida-Muramatsu was captured as a temporary moon of Jupiter in the mid-20th century and remained trapped in an irregular orbit for about twelve years. There are only a handful of known comets where this phenomenon of temporary satellite capture has occurred and the capture duration in the case of Kushida-Muramatsu, which orbited Jupiter between 1949 and 1961, is the third longest.
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NASA Stardust Capsule to go on Display at Smithsonian
September 25, 2008 - Having returned the world's first particles from a comet, NASA's Stardust sample return capsule will join the collection of flight icons in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington. The capsule will go on public display in the museum's Milestones of Flight Gallery on Oct. 1, the 50th anniversary of NASA.
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Micro manipulator

NASA Study Finds New Kind of Organics in Stardust Mission
December 14, 2006 - A team of scientists found a new class of organics in comet dust captured from comet Wild 2 in 2004 by NASA's Stardust spacecraft. The discovery is described in a technical paper, "Organics Captured from Comet Wild 2 by the Stardust Spacecraft," in the Dec. 15 issue of Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science.
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Artist rendering of Stardust-NeXT spacecraft approaching Earth's gravitational pull

Third Time is a Charm: Stardust-NExT Heading Home Once Again
After being placed in hibernation, the Stardust spacecraft has begun a new journey to resurvey comet Tempel 1. In preparation for the Feb. 14, 2011 encounter with comet Tempel 1, the spacecraft team is performing a few housekeeping activities. One of those activities is to take a series of images to calibrate the navigation camera's performance. 
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