Source NASA News Release 11-022
NASA's Stardust-NExT spacecraft is nearing a celestial date with comet Tempel 1 at approximately 11:37 p.m. EST, on Feb. 14.
The mission will allow scientists for the first time to look for changes on a comet's surface that occurred following an orbit around the Sun.
The Stardust-NExT, or New Exploration of Tempel, spacecraft will take high-resolution images during the encounter, and attempt to measure the composition, distribution, and flux of dust emitted into the coma, or material surrounding the comet's nucleus. Data from the mission will provide important new information on how Jupiter-family comets evolved and formed. (learn more)