Thomas Duxbury has been named project manager of NASA’s
Stardust mission to collect a comet sample and return it to
Earth. The mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
Pasadena, Calif.

Duxbury, who has served as Stardust’s acting project manager
for the past year, replaces Dr. Kenneth Atkins, who now heads a
JPL program to develop the leadership of the Laboratory’s

Duxbury joined the Stardust project as mission manager in
1996 and was responsible for a wide range of elements including
navigation, mission design, the ground data system, science data
management and archive and mission operations. Stardust,
launched in February 1999, is en route to Comet Wild-2 to capture
a sample of material and then return the sample to Earth in 2006.

A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Duxbury attended Purdue
University in West Lafayette, Ind., where he earned his
bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering. Upon
graduating in 1966, he started work at JPL in the field of
optical navigation on the Mariner 6 and 7 missions to Mars.

Duxbury has served on numerous planetary mission teams
including the Mariner 6, 7, 9 and 10 missions; the Mars Viking
mission that sent two landers and two orbiters to Mars; the
Pioneers 10 and 11 missions to Jupiter and Saturn; Voyagers 1 and
2 to the outer planets; the Soviet Phobos Mission to Mars; the
Mars Observer mission; the Department of Defense/NASA Clementine
mission that studied the Moon; and the Russian Mars 1996 mission.
He has served on many NASA panels and working groups such as the
NASA Planetary Cartography and Geologic Mapping Working Group and
the Russian/U.S. Joint Working Group on Solar System Exploration
for Mars Mission Coordination and Science Data Exchange.

In addition to his new Stardust role, Duxbury is a member of
the science teams for the Mars Global Surveyor’s laser altimeter
and the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter and lander.
He is also the lead scientist for geodesy and cartography in the
Mars Exploration Office. His roles on past missions have included
engineering and scientific data analysis on highly irregularly
shaped and rotating planetary bodies.

For his pioneering work in characterizing Mars’ moons Phobos
and Deimos, Duxbury received the NASA Medal for Exceptional
Scientific Achievement. He has also received eight NASA Group
Awards and the Institute of Navigation Burka Award. He received
the Soviet Flight Control Center Medal, being the only American
in Moscow supporting the Phobos ’88 encounter and landing
operations. He is listed in American Men and Women in Science and
in Who’s Who in America.

He lives in Pasadena with his wife, Dr. Natalia Duxbury, a
scientist at JPL. Stardust is managed by JPL for NASA’s Office
of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the
California Institute of Technology.