Years Of Cosmic Dust Research

"Welcome to Canterbury 2000", extended to the Interplanetary Dust community, was phased to mark progress in research over 33 years at Kent. The group, founded by Roger Jennison and myself in 1967, commenced research with space dust experiments involving collaboration with Otto Berg of NASA GSFC, later taking a big stride forward with the NASA and USSR Lunar Sample analyses. Deep space experiments on Pioneers 8 and 9, developed by Merle Alexander and Otto Berg showed the potential, and high reliability, needed for measurements in sparsely populated interplanetary space. With dust accelerators then at Kent and at Heidelberg, experiments such as those on Ulysses and Galileo were able to be proposed and, vitally, calibrated; impact detectors for the Giotto Halley Mission, for Cassini and now for Stardust followed. Results, which will be flowing for many years, provide that vital in-situ link between distant regions and observations at planet Earth. Equally vital to this "ground truth", albeit in space, are the fields of modelling, laboratory measurements, radar studies and extended astronomical measurements such as those of the Zodiacal Light. Without these different approaches and the different data acquired, each would be the weaker. These proceedings underscore the breadth and strength which has developed since that first coherence was created in "Cosmic Dust" (1978).

The Canterbury welcome coincided with farewells from the majority of space academics who, with their equipment, expertise and experience, joined the well established lines of success developed by Colin Pillinger at the Open University, Milton Keynes.

Success for a research group is very much due to the efforts and response of each individual; the essential contributions are not confined to academics. I thank therefore all of the group members throughout my time at Kent and all of the UK and International colleagues who have been both a stimulus and pleasure in sharing a career at Canterbury.

From The Open University where even greener pastures may unfold!

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