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This letter to the STARDUST project was received from Paul Wild who resides in Bern, Switzerland. Paul Wild discovered Comet Wild 2 in 1978. This letter will be placed on the microchip that will be carried on the STARDUST spacecraft to Comet Wild 2.


November 18, 1997
The Stardust Project

Dear colleagues,

It was my good luck that in January 1978 I discovered this comet,
in the course of a nova search at Zimmerwald (near Berne, Switzerland).
It is a suitable target for an encounter mission, firstly since until
recently its orbit was much wider and therefore the pristine quality
of its matter less degraded by the Sun's heat, and secondly since the
low inclination of its present orbit makes it accessible with a
minimum of thrust energy. I want to thank you for the energy of your
planning and constructing, and I wish, of course, the mission full
success. If my life span is more than eighty years, I would greatly
like to witness the happy return of the precious dust and to inspect
at close range a wee bit of what I first spied from very far.

With kind regards,

Paul Wild

+ See also a letter from Fred Whipple


Last updated November 26, 2003
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