The Stardust Interstellar Sample Preliminary Examination (ISPE) Group has released one FIBed section from each of four craters from the Stardust Interstellar tray's aluminum foils. The samples are being released before the end of the ISPE because of the potential that the samples could be scientifically critical to the successful conclusion of the group's efforts. We do not know what made these craters, and we stress that we are not definitely sure they are interstellar in origin. They could be interplanetary dust particles, or even secondaries from impacts onto other spacecraft hardware. We are releasing these samples now so that we can learn about their origin.
If you would like to request one of more of these samples for analysis please prepare a Stardust sample request and send it to the Stardust Curator. The deadline for these requests is May 1, 2012.
Please go to the Curator's website for more complete details: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/stardust/BreakingNews.cfm
// end //