It is a competitive world and NASA has a lot of thinks on its plate. It will be interesting to see if it Stardust spacecraft does have a life.
We feel like parents awaiting the return of a child who left us young and innocent, who now returns holding answers to the most profound questions of our solar system.
This spacecraft is a comet explorer. It has the tools to do a lot more.
It was like a hole just opened up in the middle of the sky.
We sang our spacecraft to sleep today with a melody of digital ones and zeros. Stardust has performed flawlessly these last seven years and 2.88 billion miles, and deserves a rest for a while, like the rest of the team.
There's been this controversy over whether comets are dirty snowballs or icy dirtballs.
These are showing us views of another world - a world we've never seen the likes of.
Stardust has performed flawlessly these last seven years ... and deserves a rest for a while.
It was a long 10 years and when it was over it was surprising it was over.
The Stardust project has delivered to the international science community material that has been unaltered since the formation of our solar system.
(The research) will involve looking at particles that were kept in the far reaches of our universe in a deep freeze since the beginning of our solar system.
That's a culmination of over ten years worth of work. To see (the capsule) in one piece on the floor of the desert is just very moving.
You'll see people wearing protective gear. Our concern is (contamination) from us to the particles, not the other way.
The science that's going to come out of this, that's going to tell us about the early formation of our solar system, the role that comets have played in the formation of Earth and ourselves, that will unfold over the next few years. The science that this project is returning will be unprecedented.
Ten years of planning and seven years of flight operations were realized early this morning when we successfully picked up our return capsule off of the desert floor in Utah.
We took a spacecraft and flew it five years. But in these five years, we went back to the origin of time - to the origin of our solar system.
In order to get to the comet we had to go three times around the sun.
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