Volume 89 Issue 10 | pp. 37-38
Issue Date: March 7, 2011

Double Duty

Reusing comet-exploring spacecraft yields big payoffs
Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: comets, Tempel 1, Hartley 2, Wild 2, NASA, Stardust, Stardust NExT, Deep Impact, EPOXI

It’s not cheap to explore the cosmos, even though decades of successful robotic spacecraft have certainly delivered scientific pay dirt. These robotic explorers have yielded insights into the physical and chemical workings of our solar system, including Titan’s drenching methane rains, Mars’s complex watery history, Venus’ runaway greenhouse effect, and comets’ inner secrets.

In these tight economic times, it’s not surprising that the National Aeronautics & Space Administration is looking for ways to get more . . .

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