News Flash: Stardust Comet Hunter Snaps First Images

516869main_n30004te01-427 NASA's Stardust-NExT mission transmitted the first image it took during its approach to comet Tempel 1 at 8:35 p.m. PST (11:35 p.m. EST) on Feb. 14, 2011, from a distance of approximately 2,462 kilometers (1,530 miles). Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., have begun receiving the first of 72 anticipated images of comet Tempel 1 taken by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.


The first six, most distant approach images are available at http://www.nasa.gov/stardust and http://www.jpl.nasa.gov. Additional images, including those from closest approach, are being downlinked in chronological order and will be available later in the day.

A news conference previously planned for 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST) will be held later today, to allow scientists more time to analyze the data and images. A new time will be announced later this morning.

More information about Stardust-NExT is available at http://stardustnext.jpl.nasa.gov.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell

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