Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute



NASA Expands DDAP to Include Stardust Sample Analysis

Artist's rendering of the Stardust encounter with comet Wild-2. Credit: NASA/JPL

Artist's rendering of the Stardust encounter with Comet Wild 2.

Credit: NASA/JPL

October 23, 2006
Source:  NASA

NASA has expanded the Discovery Data Analysis program (DDAP) to include samples collected from the Stardust mission.  The objective of the Discovery Data Analysis program (DDAP) is to enhance the scientific return of completed Discovery missions by broadening the scientific participation in the analysis of data and samples collected by those missions. The results of preliminary examination of the Stardust samples will be published soon and NASA is moving forward to allow the broader planetary community access to samples for scientific study.

NASA intends to make 15–25 awards. Notices of Intent are due on January 5, 2007, and full proposals are due January 19, 2007.

The Stardust samples are very limited and are extremely valuable, and the Stardust Allocation Subcommittee of the Curation and Analysis Planning Team for Extraterrestrial Materials (CAPTEM) has been tasked with reviewing sample requests. The Subcommittee will have to be convinced by each investigator’s request that the proposed analysis is technically feasible and will yield the proposed scientific results.  Preference will be given to investigators who have demonstrated expertise in working with suitably small samples and aerogel. Researchers submitting proposals are encouraged to form consortia to maximize scientific value by performing coordinated studies of the same samples, especially when samples will be destroyed by the analyses.

The Stardust spacecraft was launched in 1999, and made its scheduled rendezvous with Comet Wild 2 in January 2004 before returning to the Earth’s surface in January 2006 with its payload of interstellar dust. 

For more information:

DDAP Stardust Sample Analysis Opportunity (C.25)

Stardust mission and returned data

Catalog of Stardust samples

Stardust Sample Investigator’s Guidebook

Stardust Allocation Subcommittee of CAPTEM

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Last updated January 30, 2008