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Published:March 29th, 2011 16:59 EST
Stardust and the Last Frontier

Stardust and the Last Frontier

By Vincent Gonzalez

After a 12 year run, NASA`s comet-hunting Stardust space probe completed its mission. Launched in 1999, Stardust finished its main mission in 2006, sending a tiny sample of particles from the Wild 2 comet to Earth via a parachute-equipped canister.

stardust-probe

NASA then recycled the probe, sending it past a comet last month to photograph a crater left by a projectile launched by another space probe. Space exploration is great. People whine and complain about the failures that happen. Failure can happen when you`re pushing new technological limits. These exploratory probes don`t come off assembly lines like cars do.

Each one is a unique piece. And when they perform well they usually exceed their intended lifespan by many times over. Thanks for a great exploration of comets Stardust and the supporting staff!

I envy Stardust, getting to live its eternal life out in the vastness of space... witness to the awesome wonders of the universe...... I`d trade places in a heartbeat.