Search Ames


Text Size

Links to broadcast quality audio files and transcripts -- Dr. Scott Sandford, astrophysicist at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., was interviewed about the Stardust comet sample-return mission – humanity’s first opportunity to study the original material from which our solar system was built. Launched in 1999, the mission is flying to a rendezvous with the Wild-2 (pronounced VILD-TWO) comet in 2004 and is scheduled to return samples of cometary dust to Earth in 2006. The stardust mission is slated to be the first to return a sample from outside the Earth’s moon system. More information about the mission is on the Internet at:

This interview was posted on the web April 28, 2003. Sandford provided these comments prior to a talk he gave about the mission at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, Calif. on April 23.

Question 3. Where is the spacecraft actually going?

The audio recording is 27 seconds

For use on: Description Size
Radio 16 bit 44.1 kilohertz stereo WAV 4.59 meg
Radio 320 kbps MP3 1.04 meg
on-line mono -56kps MP3 187 k
on-line stereo WMA 334 k

To Download Files:
From a Macintosh Operating System, click and hold the dominant mouse button to "download link to disk" on your hardrive.

From a Microsoft Windows Operating System, right click on the file and "save the target as" on your hardrive

To find information on a specific player to listen to the audio recording, please refer to our Site Tools Page.

Note: Only WAV files play directly from this server. The others must be downloaded to be played on your machine.

Full Transcript (below)

3. Where is the spacecraft actually going?(27 SECONDS)

Dr. Scott Sandford: "Well, we’re going to encounter a comet in deep space. The orbit actually takes the Stardust spacecraft – at its closest approach to the sun, it’s at one AU. It’s at a distance from the sun that the Earth is from the sun. But at its farthest, it’s well out into the asteroid belt. So, it’s orbit is a bit of an ellipse that takes us farther out, and then brings us back closer in. And we actually encounter the comet when we’re some distance – a little further from the sun than where the Earth is."

Related News Release

Audio Archive