Learn about what space scientist are researching. Also learn about how much patience is needed in studying comets, comet dust and other space related objects.
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The Importance of Patience in Studying the Space At the Open University in Milton Keynes, home to the planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, some of the world’s top scientists dedicate their lives to uncovering the secrets of the universe. But finding the answers to some of the big questions means carrying out years of investigation, often spanning over a number of decades. Studying comets for example requires long space missions, meaning several generations of researches are involved. Scientists spend their time unraveling information brought back to earth from European Space Agency missions. 65-year-old Tony McConnel, a specialist in the filed of cosmic dust is giving us seminar at the institute. In the 80s, McConnel took part in the first European comet mission. Hs team studied the impact of cosmic dust from Halley’s Comet using information gathered by the Giotto probe in March 1986. The data collected attracted young researches like John Zarnecki and later, Neil McBride. McConnel says its effective life in space research that you don’t always reap the rewards of your work. Zarnecki is now looking a material from the Cassini Huygens Spacecraft and getting information for the European Space Agency’s Rosetta launch. When Rosetta launched, scientists knew they would have to wait 10 years before the comet chaser obtained any data. Zarnecki says “it's a case of accepting your place in the scheme of things”. Much of Zarnecki’s research will be followed by scientists like Neil McBride. McBride says that continuity in research is essential. After six and a half years of traveling, the Casini Huygens Spacecraft began its orbit of Saturn. Following in the path of Voyager, eh will continue to provide vital information to generations of scientists, past, present and future.