Genesis Crashes on Earth - but still returns Science

10 September 2004: Genesis Probe Update

Editor's note: According to an update given by Al Diaz, AA for Science, on NASA TV this morning, the desert floor was "a little more resilient" than NASA had thought - and there is some hope that much of the scientific data can be recovered. 2 of 3 collector systems were recovered either intact or broken - but still useful for science. Only the foils on the outside of the sample canister were substantially damaged. As such, according to Diaz "there will be some scientific return". More details will be discussed at a press conference which has been rescheduled for 1:00 pm EDT today.

9 September 2004: Images of NASA Genesis Recovery Effort, NASA
8 September 2004: NASA Administrator Says Exploration is Difficult - But Essential, NASA
8 September 2004: View Video of Impact (6.4 Mb QuickTime)

WATCH NASA TV Press conference at 2:30 PM EDT

3:00 PM EDT: The Genesis reentry capsule's parachutes never deployed. NASA is still studying how to remove the sample return canister given that the degree of containment is now in question after a 190 mph impact into the ground.

12:18 PM EDT: The mortar that deploys the drogue chute may not have fired - and the recovery team has to deal with the possibility that they have live ordinance to deal with.

Editor's note: And the NASA doublespeak quote of the day goes to Don Sweetnam, project manager for the Genesis mission. When asked at a post-crash press conference about the condition of the samples inside the reentry vehicle he said "we have an unquantified science degradation". Gee, why use plain English when jargon is available to confuse people? What he could have said is: "the samples may be contaminated - we'll just have to wait and see".


11:59 AM EDT: The probe hit the ground without opening its parachute. The probe is half buried in the ground and appears to be more or less intact according to NASA.




7 September 2004: NASA a 'Go' For Midair Capture of Samples from the Sun, NASA

"[On Wednesday, 8 September] the Genesis sample return capsule will enter Earth's atmosphere at 8:55 a.m. Pacific Time over Oregon. Two minutes and one time zone later, the capsule will deploy its drogue parachute at 33 kilometers (108,000 feet) over the vast alkali flats and sagebrush of the U.S. Air Force's Utah Test and Training Range."

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 10, 2004 12:00 PM.

A True Celestial Wonder was the previous entry in this blog.

11 September 2001: Bad news from Earth is the next entry in this blog.

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