The Star Dust mission was launched by NASA ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in early 1999 aiming to bring down to earth samples from (Wild 2) comet which it really did in 2003.
Nasa scientists chose this type of comet for two main reasons, First of all “it’s a comet we can easily get to” according to Astrophysicist Scott Stanford from the Nasa aims research center , so NASA won’t need a huge rocket engine to get there, in fact the comet’s nearest point to the sun is quite the earth-sun average distance and the farthest point is inside Jupiter’s orbit,
In addition to that this comet has rocks and grains which haven’t been processed much since it formed about 4.5 billion years ago , unlike Halley comet which surface has been “cooked” several times according to Scott Stanford’s description , that’s why this comet may help scientist find out more about our Earth’s history by analyzing samples from Wild 2 comet which are as old as the solar system or even older and which came from the initial solar nebula during the pre-planetary formation era , the reason why the comet’s icy materials and grains haven’t been processed much is that it has never got so close to our sun so it has never been processed much times.
So this mission is bringing too much hope for scientists from all over the world who have always and are still making huge efforts to reveal our earth’s mysterious “childhood”.
The NASA analysis team is not only composed by the stardust mission team but also by about 175 scientists from various countries representing 70 to 80 institutions. And bringing various analytical experiences from all over the globe. Could they decipher part of our planet’s early history?