Post-flight Aerothermal Analysis of the Stardust Sample Return Capsule

K. Trumble, NASA Ames Research Center
Flow environments obtained from Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solutions are loosely coupled with material response modeling to predict the surface temperature of Stardust throughout the reentry. The calculated surface temperatures are compared with the data from two spectral instruments on board the airborne observatory, the Echelle camera and SLIT telescope. At lower altitudes the CFD/material response coupling can predict the surface temperature to within 50 K.