NASA Completely Forgot Probe Was Returning Today
PASADENA, CANASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was thrown into chaos Monday after an Australian radar-tracking station notified JPL staff that Stardust II, an unmanned cometary probe, was scheduled to re-enter Earth's orbit in fewer than eight hours. "Holy crap, we completely forgot," said Dave Browning. "I have so much to doset up a schedule, clean up the clean room. Oh, Christthe recovery partywhere the hell are they?" After the probe landed early Tuesday morning, relieved JPL personnel pronounced the mission a success and asked the news media to call them on June 22, the day before Acheron VII is scheduled to return.