MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: Jane Platt
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEAugust 6, 1998
STARDUST NAME CAMPAIGN ZOOMS PAST ONE MILLION MARK
More than one million people have signed up to have their
names electronically engraved on the second of two microchips
that will fly aboard NASA's Stardust spacecraft. Stardust is
scheduled for launch on a round-trip journey to a comet next
The one-millionth signature was received Wednesday, August
6, at 5:49 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The first microchip, which
contained 136,000 names collected last fall, has already been
installed on the spacecraft, which is being assembled at Lockheed
Martin Astronautics, Denver, CO. The "Send Your Name to a Comet"
effort is being coordinated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
and the National Space Society.
Names may be submitted only electronically, either on the
Stardust web site at http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov or the National
Space Society website at http://www.nss.org/impact . Deadline
is August 15, 1998. Those submitting their names are granting
permission for the Stardust project and its partners to use the
names submitted in possible future exhibits and/or publications.
Stardust will fly within about 160 kilometers (100 miles) of
the nucleus of the comet Wild 2 (pronounced vilt-2). It will
capture a sample of comet dust for return to Earth in 2006, and
collect nearly 100 high-resolution pictures of the comet's
surface. The mission, managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space
Science, is a collaborative partnership between the University of
Washington, Lockheed Martin Astronautics and JPL/Caltech.
Stardust was selected under NASA's Discovery program of low-cost
solar system projects. The California Institute of Technology
manages JPL for NASA.