Stealth Stardust-NExT Close Flyby of Earth Tomorrow

Lockheed Martin-Built Stardust Spacecraft to Fly By Earth Jan. 14 - Stardust-NExT on Its Way to Explore Comet Tempel 1

"On Jan. 14, NASA's Stardust-NExT spacecraft will fly by Earth during a gravity assist maneuver that will increase its velocity and sling shot the spacecraft into an orbit to meet up with comet Tempel 1 in February 2011. Flight operations for the spacecraft are performed from Lockheed Martin's Mission Support Area in Denver, Colo. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. provides the precision navigation need for the flyby and the journey to Tempel 1. The Lockheed Martin-built spacecraft's closest approach will happen at 12:33 p.m. MST as it comes within 5,690 miles (9,157 km) of Earth. At its closest point, the spacecraft will fly over the California/Mexico border south of San Diego at a speed of approximately 22,400 miles per hour (36,000 kilometer per hour)."

Editor's note: NASA PAO doesn't seem to be aware of this cool flyby. There is no mention here or here at these official NASA Stardust websites or at JPL's main site. Oh well, at least Lockheed Martin is paying attention.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 13, 2009 4:16 PM.

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