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First Stardust asteroid image released
Posted: Tue, Nov 5, 2002, 10:41 AM ET (1541 GMT)
Stardust image of asteroid Annefrank (NASA/JPL) Scientists released on Monday an image of the asteroid Annefrank taken late Friday night by NASA's Stardust spacecraft. The image shows that the asteroid has an irregular shape about eight kilometers across — twice as large as expected — with several large craters. The quality of the images came as a pleasant surprise to scientists, who feared that the asteroid would be too dim or would not appear in the field of view of Stardust's camera during the 30-minute flyby. The spacecraft took 72 images during the flyby, which will be transmitted back to Earth through Friday. The flyby was designed to be a dress rehearsal for Stardust's primary mission, a flyby of the comet Wild 2 scheduled for January 2004.
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