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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: http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/

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.

Question6. How big is the return capsule?

The audio recording is 26 seconds

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Full Transcript (below)


6. How big is the return capsule?(26 seconds)

Dr. Scott Sandford: "Okay, well, the sample return capsule isn’t very large. It’s shaped like an Apollo return capsule, but those were big enough to bring back three people from the Moon. This just needs to bring back a much more modest-sized collector. And so, ahh, the sample return capsule is actually reasonably huggable. You could almost get your arms around it – around its diameter – ah – around its circumference if you stretched hard. So, it’s a modest size. Ah, certainly one person could pick this thing up."

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