In all geologic time, the responsibilities are on our generation ... including you ...

Stardust, NASA Comet Sample Return Probe

Stardust was a NASA probe whose main mission was to return a sample to Earth from the coma of comet Wild 2, by flying thru the coma to collect dust grains using an aerogel collection device.

Comet Wild 2 was captured into the inner solar system in 1974 after a close flyby of Jupiter.

Stardust was approved for funding in 1995 as part of NASA's Discovery program, and launched in 1999.

Along the way, a flyby of main belt asteroid 5535 Annefrank was scheduled for 2002, and was successful in obtaining some low resolution images of the asteroid, though close up characterization of the mineralogy was not attempted. The asteroid turned out to be about twice as large as anticipated from Earth observations, and might be a contact binary.

In 2002, Stardust successfully flew thru the coma of comet Wild 2 and collected grains while surviving the encounter without significant damage to the spacecraft.

In 2006, the probe arrived back at Earth and the container re-entered the Earth's atmosphere at 12.9 km/sec, eventually parachuting to the Utah desert as planned.

Analysis found that over a million dust grains were collected in the aerogel.

A program called "Stardust@Home" was started so that people over the internet could help with the tedious task of reviewing the aerogel and locating dust grains for a human to later go in and retrieve.

An extended mission was approved so that the Stardust spacecraft flew by comet Tempel 1, which had previously been visited by the Deep Impact probe. This mission was called NExT for "New Exploration of Temple".

In 2011, Stardust flew by Tempel 1 and successfully took photos of the comet nucleus so that we could see how it has changed since the Deep Space 1 visit, including the impact site of the Deep Space 1 impactor. It also analyzed captured dust grains by an interstellar dust device which had a mass spectrometer.

The spacecraft afterwards burned the last of its fuel and switched off according to plans.

External links:

Comet 81P/Wild, Wikipedia

MBA 5535 Annefrank, Wikipedia

Stardust@home, Wikipedia

A program to allow people on the internet to help analyze Stardust grains

Stardust probe, Wikipedia article

Comet 9P Tempel, Wikipedia > Asteroids, Near Earth Objects (NEO) > Probes to Asteroids and NEOs > Stardust


PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?

There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.

The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.

Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.

This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.

Reasons to do something yourself:

  • It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
  • It will create and secure a better future for your children and grandchildren.
  • It could be an interesting, cool, and a fun adventure for your life!

You can join us and volunteer to help out,

... or ...

If you're short on time, you can just donate:

The Permanent Space Development Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
If you would like to make a quick donation to our humanistic cause,
then please click on one of the buttons below (which go to PayPal).

... or by cryptocurrency (which is NOT tax deductible), you can donate into any of these wallets:





... or ...

Suggest this website to other people and organizations.

To get updates on PERMANENT (occasional, not frequent), get on our mailing list.

For general or specific e-mail regarding PERMANENT, please use our Feedback page.

Leave information about yourself in our people, companies, and organizations database.

If you are interested in hiring our expertise, anywhere in the world, please contact us.
We have people in the USA and Thailand, and can travel or consult by internet.
You can call anytime, 24/7, at +66-8-1135-7977

Text by Mark Prado, Copyright © 1983-2021, All Rights Reserved.
Many website artistic design elements by Sam Fraser, Copyright © 1999-2021, All Rights Reserved.

Except where specifically stated otherwise,
Copyright © 1983-2021 by Mark Evan Prado, All Rights Reserved


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