April 24, 2003

Comet Collectors

Rob and I were in the South Bay at Foothill College last night. The guy on stage was Dr. Scott Sandford from NASA Ames Research Center. He’s collected lunar rocks and even bits from Mars, all right here on Earth, in Antarctica. Yes, there are bits of other planetoids down there. Well preserved and easy to spot.

It’s amazing the lengths to which scientists will go to in order to collect comet dust in the upper atmosphere. Yet understandable when you recognize the types of discoveries which can be made. What would really be nice though would be to launch a rocket, send a vehicle spinning through the solar system, fly it through the tail of a comet at Mach 20 (taking photos and collecting samples the whole time), and return the collector safely to Earth. Sound nuts?

Say hello to the Stardust project.

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Sean Peisert

You should definitely join the SFAA.

Rob Christensen

Sean, just curious but are you a member yourself?

Sean Peisert

Rob, I’m not sure if my membership is current, but I was as of a few months ago. too. ASP as well, but their focus is considerably different than the amateur astronomer organizations.

Sean Peisert

That last post meant to say, “SDAA too”.

Jason Spaceman

There’s also people who will pay top dollar for meteorites from Mile High Meteorites. I do wonder how people gave up the meteorites that fell into their property and now somehow this guy is selling them for hundreds, some thousands, of dollars.

Great website by the way.

Walt Dickinson

Thanks Jason. I’m surprised anyone would pay for meteorite debris considering how much of it there must be. Personally, I’d like to avoid an Andromeda Strain scenario as much as possible. =-)