Star Dust Next

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• Launch date:  7 February 1999

• Orbital insertion:  15 January 2006

• End of mission: 24 March 2011

• Agency: NASA

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Stardust-NExT was a follow-on mission that repurposed the Stardust spacecraft for a close re-encounter with comet Tempel 1 on Feb. 14, 2011. Stardust-NExT’s objective was to examine the area where Deep Impact, which visited Tempel 1 in 2005, had released an impactor on the surface of the comet.

The mission marked several firsts, including the first time a comet had been revisited by a spacecraft and the first time a comet had been studied before and after its close flyby of the sun.