Also good to see that Stardust successfully completed its rendez-vous with Comet Wild 2 and got some great pictures of the core, as well as picking up the dust samples in the aerogel. These are now due to return back to a parachute landing above Utah in Jan 15, 2006.
When they launched Stardust they invited the public to submit their names to go on a microchip, both on the satellite and the return probe. I put the family on, and just checked at the NASA site and we're still listed. Maybe we get to send our DNA up next!
There are some great pics on the Stardust site of the recovery tests in a very snowy Utah. The whole satellite comes hurtliing towards earth, spins up and ejects the probe (just like Beagle) only a couple of hours out, and then the rest of the spacecraft is manouvered into a flyby trajectory and sent hurtling off into deep space.
***Imported from old blog***