Stardust is part of the NASA Discovery Program,
a set of missions designed to explore deep space
to achieve exceptional scientific results at the
lowest possible cost.
JPL manages the Stardust mission and also provided
the optical navigation camera.
Caltech manages JPL for NASA's Office of Space
The principal investigator, Dr. Donald Brownlee,
is from the University of Washington. Dr. Brownlee
is well known for his work on cosmic particles
in the stratosphere, known as Brownlee particles.
Lockheed Martin Astronautics brings years of experience
in space missions to the project. The company
built the lightweight, low-cost Stardust spacecraft
and Sample-Return Capsule.
Boeing designed and built the Delta rocket, that
blasted Stardust into space in February 1999.
The Max-Planck-Institut fur extraterrestrische
Physik provided the Cometary and Interstellar
Dust Analyzer Instrument.
NASA Ames Research Center developed a new carbon--based
heat shield that will protect the return capsule,
when it returns to Earth.
The University of Chicago provided the Dust Flux
The Stardust Curation Team, located at JSC in
Houston, Texas, handles the Sample Return Capsule
and its precious cargo of interstellar dust grains
and cometary dust particles.
for the educational partners.