Stardust was launched by NASA in 1999. Scientists sent it into outer space to collect samples from comets. So how did Stardust collect those samples? It contained plates of aerogel, a type of sticky stuff that attracted and kept the comet materials. It traveled three billion miles before returning to earth January 15, 2006, with samples it took from comet Wild 2. Children can have a great time exploring the Stardust NASA site for kids at: Stardust.