Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Genesis Spacecraft On Final Lap Toward Home

Date:
May 6, 2004
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's Genesis spacecraft flew past Earth on Saturday in a loop that puts it on track for home - and a dramatic mid-air recovery Sept. 8. The Genesis mission was launched in August of 2001 to capture samples from the storehouse of 99-percent of all the material in our solar system - the Sun.

This artist's conception shows the Genesis spacecraft in collection mode, opened up to collect and store samples of solar wind particles.
Credit: Image courtesy NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's Genesis spacecraft flew past Earth on Saturday in a loop that puts it on track for home - and a dramatic mid-air recovery Sept. 8.

The Genesis mission was launched in August of 2001 to capture samples from the storehouse of 99-percent of all the material in our solar system - the Sun. The samples of solar wind particles, collected on ultra-pure wafers of gold, sapphire, silicon and diamond, will be returned for analysis by Earth-bound scientists. The samples Genesis will provide will supply scientists with vital information on the composition of the Sun, and will shed light on the origins of our solar system.

"Genesis has been way out there collecting samples from space for a long time," said Genesis project manager Don Sweetnam of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Saturday, we brushed past Earth just beyond the Moon's orbit. On September 6, we will again approach Earth at lunar distance, but this time we are going to come on in carrying NASA's first samples from space since Apollo 17 carried the last moon rocks back in December of 1972."

The Earth flyby occurred at about 3:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Saturday, May 1, at an altitude of 386,000 kilometers (239,850 miles) above the planet's surface - just beyond the Moon's orbit. At that time, the spacecraft was traveling at a speed relative to Earth of 1.26 kilometers per second (2,800 miles per hour).

Helicopter flight crews, navigators and mission engineers are preparing for the return of the spacecraft. The will dispatch a sample return capsule that will re-enter Earth's atmosphere for a planned mid-air capture at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range on Sept. 8. To preserve the delicate particles of the Sun, specially trained helicopter pilots will snag the return capsule from mid-air using custom-designed hooks. The flight crews for the two helicopters assigned for Genesis capture and return are comprised of former military aviators and Hollywood stunt pilots.

JPL manages the Genesis mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, developed and operates the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, the home institute of Genesis's principal investigator Dr. Don Burnett. More information about Genesis is available at www.jpl.nasa.gov/genesis.

More information about the actual capture and return process is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/genesis/mission/recgallery.html.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA Genesis Spacecraft On Final Lap Toward Home." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040506073933.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2004, May 6). NASA Genesis Spacecraft On Final Lap Toward Home. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040506073933.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA Genesis Spacecraft On Final Lap Toward Home." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040506073933.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

NASA (Aug. 15, 2014) Carbon Observatory’s First Data, ATV-5 Delivers Cargo, Cygnus Departs Station and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Shuttle Replica Hoisted for Landmark Exhibit

Space Shuttle Replica Hoisted for Landmark Exhibit

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 14, 2014) The space shuttle replica Independence has been hoisted atop Space Center Houston's shuttle carrier aircraft, creating a monument to the shuttle program which will open to the public next year. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins