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John Bluck
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-5026 or 650/604-9000

January 11, 2006
UPDATE: NASA Aircraft Crew to Observe Incoming Stardust Sample Capsule
MEDIA ADVISORY: A NASA DC-8 aircraft will carry a team of scientists to observe the Stardust sample capsule as it enters Earth's atmosphere and flies to a landing in the Utah desert at 2 a.m. PST on Jan.15, 2006. The capsule is carrying comet dust that the Stardust spacecraft captured near comet Wild-2 (VILT-TWO) in January 2004.

Note: Wednesday flight has been changed to 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. PST.

A group of news media has been selected to fly on the NASA DC-8 aircraft on the 'Stardust observation rehearsal flights,’ today, Wednesday, Jan 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. PST, and Thursday, Jan. 12, from 11:45 p.m. PST to Jan. 13, 3:30 a.m. PST, as well as on the actual mission on Sunday, Jan. 15, 12:01 a.m. to 4 a.m. PST. Pool coverage will be provided. Media tours of the aircraft will be offered today from noon to 2 p.m. PST.

WHAT: Opportunity to fly aboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft to observe the Stardust space capsule as it enters Earth’s atmosphere. For all flights, the DC-8 will depart from NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and return there.

WHEN: A tour of the DC-8 will be held today, Wednesday, Jan. 11, from noon to 2 p.m. PST. Stardust observation rehearsal flights are being held today, Wednesday, Jan 11, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. PST and Thursday, Jan. 12, from 11:45 p.m. to Jan. 13, 3:30 a.m. PST. The Stardust observation mission flight will take place the early morning of Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006.

WHO: Interviews with NASA DC-8 mission project manager Dave Jordan, SETI Institute scientist and principal investigator Peter Jenniskens and other Stardust mission scientists and engineers.

WHERE: NASA Ames Research Center Flight Operations, Bldg. 158. News media representatives attending the DC-8 tour should report to Ames' Visitor Badging Office, located at the Ames main gate. To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101 and drive east to the main gate and Visitor Badging Office. Special instructions will be issued to those journalists who are approved to fly on the DC-8.

NEWS MEDIA POOL: For news media needing to acquire media pool products from the NASA DC-8 Stardust Observation flights, please see:

JPL manages the Stardust mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, developed and operates the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology. NASA's Johnson Space Center contributed to Stardust payload development, and the Johnson Space Center will curate the sample and support analysis and sample allocation.

For more information about the Stardust mission, see:


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