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, 2003.

Related News Release

The questions below are linked to broadcast quality as well as on-line audio files.

  1. Question One:What is the Stardust spacecraft’s mission? (14 SECONDS)
  2. Question Two: When did the spacecraft launch, and what does it look like? (59 SECONDS)
  3. Question Three: Where is the spacecraft actually going? (27 SECONDS)
  4. Question Four: What will the comet material be? (25 SECONDS)
  5. Question Five: How do you plan to capture the dust and keep it from being destroyed when it returns to Earth? (1:20 MINUTES)
  6. Question Six: How big is the return capsule? (26 SECONDS)
  7. Question Seven: What do you think we are going to learn from the samples? (1:01 MINUTES)
  8. Question Eight: How will you examine and analyze the returned cometary materials? (1:26 MINUTES)
  9. Question Nine: Do you have to quarantine the returned cometary materials? (1:34 MINUTES)
  10. Question Ten: Why did you pick the Wild-2 comet? (1:49 MINUTES)
  11. Question Eleven: Do you know where the capsule will land, or do you have to look for it? (40 SSECONDS)
  12. Question Twelve: What is your role in the mission? (1:52 MINUTES)
  13. Question Thirteen: How long will it take to analyze the samples? (1:18 MINUTES)
  14. Question Fourteen: What would you like to add about the Stardust mission? (1:42 MINUTES)
  15. Question Fifteen: What is the exact date of the comet encounter? (44 SECONDS)

    Audio Archive