Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genesis Scientists Bouncing Back From Hard Landing

Date:
September 13, 2004
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists who conducted the preliminary assessment of the Genesis canister are encouraged by what they see. They believe it may be possible to achieve the most important portions of their science objectives.

Recovered materials from Genesis.
Credit: Photo courtesy of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Scientists who conducted the preliminary assessment of the Genesis canister are encouraged by what they see. They believe it may be possible to achieve the most important portions of their science objectives.

"We are bouncing back from a hard landing, and spirits are picking up again," said Orlando Figueroa, deputy associate administrator for programs for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"This may result in snatching victory from the jaws of defeat," added Dr. Roger Wiens of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, a member of the Genesis science team. "We are very encouraged." Based on initial inspection, it is possible a repository of solar wind materials may have survived that will keep the science community busy for some time.

"We are pleased and encouraged by the preliminary inspection," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "The outstanding design and sturdy construction of Genesis may yield the important scientific results we hoped for from the mission."

"I want to emphasize the excellent work by the navigation team to bring the capsule back exactly on target was key in our ability to recover the science," said Andrew Dantzler, director of the Solar System Division at NASA Headquarters, Washington. "In addition, the robustness of the design of the spacecraft was the reason it could take such a hard landing and still give us a chance to recover the samples."

The mission's main priority is to measure oxygen isotopes to determine which of several theories is correct regarding the role of oxygen in the formation of the solar system. Scientists hope to determine this with isotopes collected in the four target segments of the solar wind concentrator carried by the Genesis spacecraft. "From our initial look, we can see that two of the four concentrator segments are in place, and all four may be intact," Wiens said.

The mission's second priority is to analyze nitrogen isotopes that will help us understand how the atmospheres of the planets in our solar system evolved. "These isotopes will be analyzed using gold foil, which we have also found intact," Wiens said.

Other samples of solar winds are contained on hexagonal wafers. It appears these are all or nearly all broken, but sizable pieces will be recovered, and some are still mounted in their holders. "We won't really know how many can be recovered for some time, but we are far more hopeful important science can be conducted than we were on Wednesday," Wiens said.

Another type of collector material, foils contained on the canister's lid, were designed to collect other isotopes in the solar wind. It appears approximately three-fourths of these are recoverable, according to Dr. Dave Lindstrom, mission program scientist at NASA Headquarters. However, these foils have been exposed to elements of the Utah desert.

The Genesis sample return capsule landed well within the projected ellipse path in the Utah Test & Training Range on Sept. 8, but its parachutes did not open. It impacted the ground at nearly 320 kilometers per hour (nearly 200 miles per hour). NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Genesis mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, developed and operated the spacecraft.

News and information about Genesis is available on the Internet at http://www.nasa.gov/genesis. For background information about Genesis, visit http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov. For information about NASA on the Internet, visit http://www.nasa.gov.


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. "Genesis Scientists Bouncing Back From Hard Landing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040913092447.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2004, September 13). Genesis Scientists Bouncing Back From Hard Landing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040913092447.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Genesis Scientists Bouncing Back From Hard Landing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040913092447.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

Newsy (Sep. 27, 2014) — Researchers at the University of Michigan simulated the birth of planets and our sun to determine whether water in the solar system predates the sun. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) — A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, including the first woman cosmonaut in 17 years, blasted off on schedule Friday. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Discovery On Small Planet Could Be Key To Earth 2.0

Water Discovery On Small Planet Could Be Key To Earth 2.0

Newsy (Sep. 25, 2014) — Scientists have discovered traces of water in the atmosphere of a distant, Neptune-sized planet. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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