Feeds

NASA's Stardust braves cometary flak

Survives photographic close encounter with Tempel 1

Security for virtualized datacentres

NASA's Stardust spacecraft has survived a close encounter with comet Tempel 1, during which it took a few substantial hits from cometary flak.

The craft passed within 111 miles of the comet at 20:40 p.m. PST on 14 February (04:40 GMT on 15 February), and has returned some impressive photos of the distant body.

Four views of Tempel 1 as seen by Stardust. Image: NASA

As well as 72 high resolution snaps of Tempel 1, Stardust collected data on the comet's tail, and engineering telemetry revealing it "flew through waves of disintegrating cometary particles including a dozen impacts that penetrated more than one layer of its protective shielding".

Don Brownlee, Stardust co-investigator from the University of Washington, said: "The data indicate Stardust went through something similar to a B-17 bomber flying through flak in World War II. Instead of having a little stream of uniform particles coming out, they apparently came out in chunks and crumbled."

Despite the rough ride, principal investigator Joe Veverka confirmed the mission had been "100 per cent successful". He added: "We saw a lot of new things that we didn't expect, and we'll be working hard to figure out what Tempel 1 is trying to tell us."

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.