Stardust Memories

A mission well played and an efficient use of taxpayer money too. They wrung every last bit of scientific data out of every last dollar.

Lights go out on NASA’s Stardust comet mission

Fresh off a bonus flyby of comet Tempel 1 in February, NASA’s Stardust spacecraft fired its four main engines for more than two minutes Thursday, draining its fuel tank as managers said goodbye to the well-traveled comet chaser after more than 12 years in space.

With Stardust’s single hydrazine fuel tank emptied, the craft lost its ability to control its orientation and the probe’s solar panels were expected to lose track of the sun, and officials anticipated the mission’s battery charge would be exhausted within hours.

Stardust was also programmed to turn off its radio transmitters about 20 minutes after the burn, just in case it might interfere with some future mission using the same frequency.

NASA announced the last transmission from Stardust was received at 7:33 p.m. EDT (2333 GMT) Thursday. Officials monitored the burn from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and issued commands from the Lockheed Martin Corp. mission support center in Denver.

See also:
NASA and Lockheed Martin Say Goodbye to Historic Stardust Spacecraft
NASA’s Venerable Comet Hunter Wraps Up Mission
NASA’s Stardust: Good to the Last Drop
Inside NASA’s Space Funeral for the Comet-Hunting Stardust Probe
NASA kills off comet hunter
Comet-hunting spacecraft shuts down after 12 years
NASA Retires Comet-Hunter Stardust
NASA’s Stardust set to ‘burn to depletion’
NASA’s stardust empties its tank after 12 years
NASA’s ‘Comet Hunter’ Heads Off Into The ‘Sunset’
Stardust – NASA’s Comet Sample Return Mission
NASA – Stardust
Stardust (spacecraft)

Hopefully they put some type of return address on it.

/maybe, like a note in a bottle, something out there will find Stardust and bring it back home, as long as they’re good aliens that come in peace

A Paradigm Shift?

It looks like we’re going to get to see how a real world missile defense system performs under hostile fire.

Iron Dome to Become Operational

Following the recent escalation on the Gaza strip border, the IDF will deploy for the first time the Iron Dome missile defense system in strategic locations in the south of Israel as soon as Sunday, in order to shot down rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli civilians.

The Iron Dome is a one of a kind portable anti missile system, designed to protect an area stretching over 10 square kilometers from short-range rockets and mortar shells. The system can calculate whether the rockets fired are a threat to civilian population or strategic sites based on their trajectory, thus intercepting only the ones which pose a threat and not handling the ones which will land in open areas.

The Israeli Defense Forces hope the system will perform as expected and intercept all incoming rockets. If it does do so, the IDF will mark another unprecedented historical achievement, which could mean a “game changer” in the Middle East.

See also:
Israel to deploy ‘Iron Dome’ anti-rocket system
Iron Dome Defense To Start Working Sunday in Southern Israel
Iron Dome heads south
Israel deploys air defense system ‘Iron Dome’ near Gaza
Israel to deploy Iron Dome anti-missile system across southern territories
Iron Dome to be deployed in South soon, IDF says
IDF Considers Deploying Iron Dome as of Sunday
What about the Iron Dome?
Vilnai: Israel has strategic reason not to use Iron Dome
Iron Dome

if Iron Dome works, what will the frustrated Hamas terrorists do, or the Hezbollah terrorists for that matter, with their vast Iranian supplied arsenal rendered useless?

/if I were a South Korean, living in Seoul, I’d be paying close attention