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Summary

Icy, rocky, sometimes dusty, always mysterious – comets and asteroids are among the Solar System's very oldest inhabitants, formed within a swirling cloud of gas and dust in the area of space that eventually hosted the Sun and its planets. Locked within each of these extra-terrestrial objects is the 4.6-billion-year wisdom of Solar System events, and by studying them at close quarters using spacecraft we can coerce them into revealing their closely-guarded secrets. This offers us the chance to answer some fundamental questions about our planet and its inhabitants.

Exploring comets and asteroids also allows us to shape the story of Earth's future, enabling us to protect our precious planet from the threat of a catastrophic impact from space, and maybe to even recover valuable raw materials from them. This cosmic bounty could be as useful in space as it is on Earth, providing the necessary fuel and supplies for humans as they voyage into deep space to explore more distant locations within the Solar System.

Catching Stardust tells the story of these enigmatic celestial objects, revealing how scientists are using them to help understand a crucial time in our history – the birth of the Solar System, and everything contained within it.

©2018 Natalie Starkey (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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  • Raduede
  • 30-12-18

Chasing star stuff always results in technological advances

In parts, this is a fascinating detective story examining indirect evidence to learn our history and future. At other parts it promotes the next step we could take given small and large advances in technology. The worst thing we can do is nothing.

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  • Rick B
  • 23-07-22

A home run in space!

I am a fan of Dr. Natalie Starkey from the first audio I listen to, Fire & Ice 2021, to this audio, Catching Stardust 2018. These are both highly entertaining and educational. Alison Campbell, the narrator of Catching Stardust, has a pleasant British voice as well as Dr. Natalie Starkey. Their pronunciations and dialect add to your listing experience. The science is incredible, from asteroids to comets, the space exploration by different organizations such as NASA & ESA are brought to life in projects such as "Stardust" & Rosetta". The Rosetta mission was a 20 yearlong project launched on March 2nd, 2004, traveling to intercept for over 10 years at distance of more than 6.4 billion kilometers or 248,548,476.89 miles, orbit and land the probe named Philae that ends up on the Comet 67P/CG. This little lander, about the size of a washing machine had to drop from the Rosetta space craft and free fall without flight power while the Comet 67P/CG rotates every 12 hours. This was a free fall that had to be timed when the Rosetta space craft was actually on the opposite side of the targeted landing site while the Comet was racing towards the sun during its closest approach called the perihelion. I don't want to spoil a great story, but the results of the near perfect landing at the primary "J" site turns out to have unexpected results. What has been learned by capturing space dust from different missions and returning data to Earth has changed the way scientists now view the creation of our solar system and all the components of it, including us. Dr Natalie Starkey also addresses asteroid and comet mining in the future by both governments and private companies. There is a chapter also on systems to protect the Earth from possible collisions in the future and what can be done about that. I highly recommend these works from Dr. Natalie Starkey if you just enjoy learning with exceptional narrations. Mabe you too will become a fan!

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  • Marta
  • 24-07-18

Amazing and inspiring

It's a short, but very informative book about asteroids and comets, showing lots of aspects that I never thought about before. I really loved it.