The Stardust Sample Return Capsule (SRC) entered the Earth's atmosphere at a velocity of 12.6 km/s. At high altitude, the flow field is in a strong state of thermochemical nonequilibrium. In the present study, both continuum (CFD) and particle (DSMC) methods are used to analyze the ow around the SRC at high altitude. The present study contains two components. In the first part, CFD and DSMC flow fields are generated and used to compute line of sight spectra that are compared with high-resolution data taken with the Echelle spectrograph during the Stardust entry. Comparisons between simulation and measurements are presented for air spectral features and for metal atomic lines believed to originate from evaporation of the vehicle surface. In the second part, detailed DSMC computations are performed at high altitude that include a kinetic model for the excitation processes of sodium.