This is Stardust, NASA's comet hunter about 312,000,000 kilometers from Earth. Yesterday, they ordered her main engines to burn at full throttle until they consumed all the available fuel, and then turned off her radio. But why?
Swinging around the solar system
Launched in February 7, 1999, the brave 661-pound spaceship was the first spacecraft in history to return to Earth samples from a comet (Wild 2) and the first to record the sound of the dust of a comet (Temple 1) hitting her instruments.