Spacecraft bringing comet dust back to Earth
By David E. Williams
Thursday, January 12, 2006; Posted: 2:07 p.m. EST (19:07 GMT)
(CNN) -- NASA's Stardust space probe is racing toward Earth, carrying a tiny payload of cometary and interstellar dust -- particles that scientists believe are leftovers from the creation of our solar system.
If all goes as planned, Stardust will release the 100-lb. capsule carrying the samples at 1 a.m. ET on Sunday. It would enter Earth's atmosphere about four hours later and parachute to the ground in Utah at 5:12 a.m. ET.
Stardust has been in space for just shy of seven years and made three laps around the sun, traveling 2.88 billion miles (4.63 billion kilometers).
In a somewhat related event NASA has sold the negotiation rights for the stardust to the Ottawa Renagades of the Canadain Football League. "While we have many years of study to perform on this material" said Prof. David Weinstein of the Jet Propoulsion Labratories, "I suppose that when we have concluded our use for the material this football team will have 'first crack' at it, whatever that may mean". "Let's see the League Office try to stop this monumentous potential of infinite potential", noted Forrest Gregg, an executive representative of the football team speaking from his office in Wisconsin. "Yee Haw!", added John Jenkins, the team's Coach, "That's what I'm talking about!".
........slow news day, eh?.......