Wind River Powers NASA's Space Exploration - Mars Rovers Lands Safely, Stardust Spacecraft Completes its Journey to the Comet

  • For years, Wind River has provided reliable technology to NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) for space exploration in the Mars Exploration Rover program and the Stardust Project, among others
  • Stardust is the first U.S. space mission dedicated solely to the exploration of a comet, and the first robotic mission designed to return extraterrestrial material from outside the orbit of the Moon.

ALAMEDA, Calif. January 5, 2004 - Wind River Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: WIND), the worldwide market leader in embedded software and services, today announced that the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, powered by Wind River technology, successfully landed on Mars at approximately 8:35 p.m. PT, January 3, 2004. Spirit is one of two twin robot geologists running on Wind River's industry leading real-time operating system (RTOS), VxWorks. The second twin, Opportunity, is scheduled to land on Mars on January 24, 2004. Once on Mars, Spirit will leverage Wind River's reliable technology to perform complex, mission-critical tasks, such as trajectory, descent and ground operations control, data collection and Mars-to-Earth communication relay.

In addition to powering the Mars Rovers, Wind River's technology also operates within NASA JPL's Stardust spacecraft. Stardust is the first United States space mission dedicated solely to the exploration of a comet, named Wild 2, and the first robotic mission designed to return extraterrestrial material from outside the orbit of the Moon. Today, Stardust will complete its four-year journey from Earth, arriving within 100 kilometers of the speeding nucleus of Wild 2 to collect dust samples from the comet's tail in order to help answer fundamental questions regarding the origins of the solar system. Wind River's VxWorks® real-time operating system (RTOS) is responsible for Stardust's flight trajectory and path, the collection of interstellar dust and cometary material, the journey back to Earth, and the safe landing of the return capsule.

"Successful missions don't just happen; they are the result of the hard work, dedication and technology of many different organizations," said Jerry Fiddler, founder for Wind River.

"For more than two decades, Wind River has had the honor to work with the inspirational people of NASA's JPL and we are continuously impressed by their space exploration projects such as the Mars Exploration Rovers and Stardust," said Jerry Fiddler of Wind River Systems. "As the founder of Wind River, I am personally proud that our reliable, secure real-time operating system has served as a key foundational technology for many aerospace organizations that shape the future of space exploration."

Since its inception in 1981, Wind River has been a trusted advisor in the development of aerospace and defense products. The company's reliable technology has successfully powered countless products in the reaches of our universe, including NASA's space "lifeboat," NASA's Deep Space One satellite, and the European Space Agency's PROBA satellite, among others.

The Mars Exploration Rovers and the Stardust missions are part of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA's lead center for robotic exploration of the solar system, which is managed by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.

To learn more about Mars Exploration Rovers, go to To learn more about Stardust, go to To learn more about Wind River's work in Aerospace and Defense, go to

About Wind River
Wind River is the worldwide leader in embedded software and services. It provides market-specific embedded platforms that integrate real-time operating systems, development tools and technologies. Wind River's products and professional services are used in multiple markets including aerospace and defense, automotive, digital consumer, industrial, and network infrastructure. Wind River provides high-integrity technology and expertise that enables its customers to create superior products more efficiently. Companies from around the world turn to Wind River to create the most reliable products and to accelerate their time to market.

Founded in 1981, Wind River is headquartered in Alameda, California, with operations worldwide. To learn more, visit Wind River at or call Wind River at 1-800-872-4977.

Wind River Systems and the Wind River Systems logo are trademarks of Wind River Systems, Inc., and VxWorks is a registered trademark of Wind River Systems, Inc. All other names mentioned are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of their respective companies.

Contact Information
Jessica Miller
Global Corporate Communications