In pictures: Stardust's comet mission
Dust catcher

Approaching at 6.1km/s (13,600 miles per hour), Stardust flipped open a particle catcher shaped like a tennis racket.

Shields protected Stardust on its 10-hour passage through a hailstorm of debris.

The comet particles - thought to be relatively unchanged since the Solar System's birth - are being returned to Earth in a special capsule.

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