NASA’s $212 million Stardust spacecraft is returning to Earth after a whirlwind 2.8 billion-mile tour of the inner solar system and will pass over Oregon early Sunday morning during its return to Earth.
The Stardust spacecraft holds precious cargo—a pinch of particles from the comet Wild-2. It’s the first time materials from deep space will return to Earth since the last Apollo moon landing in December 1972.
The 3-foot-diameter, 101-pound Stardust capsule will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Northwest Sunday at 1:57 a.m. Sunday PST. OMSI will be holding a free viewing party from 1:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. in its planetarium, 1945 S.E. Water Ave. It will include video feeds from a NASA observatory in Utah that might have a better view of the re-entry if the skies are overcast in the Portland area.
— Philip Chien, Things are looking up for stargazers, The Portland Tribune, January 13, 2006
Added by vj on January 13, 2006