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View Full Version : Genesis spacecraft begins orbit of L1



Karl
2001-Nov-20, 12:53 PM
Collectors will be opened at the end of the month.


http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/2001/release_2001_223.html

CJSF
2001-Nov-20, 01:03 PM
GENESIS? GENESIS ALLOWED IS NOT! IS PLANET FORBIDDEN!

Sorry... couldn't resist. I've seen conflicting stories on how the craft's 'hot' battery might affect the mission... anyone know the real story there?

CJSF

ToSeek
2001-Nov-20, 01:11 PM
On 2001-11-20 08:03, Christopher Ferro wrote:
Sorry... couldn't resist. I've seen conflicting stories on how the craft's 'hot' battery might affect the mission... anyone know the real story there?



Here's the official status page on the mission:

http://www.genesismission.org/mission/statusupdate.html

It's strangely silent on the overheating issue after the initial mentions - perhaps the problem has gone away, but you'd think they'd at least mention it since it sounded mission-critical at one point.

ToSeek
2004-Apr-02, 05:10 PM
Oldest thread I've ever revived?

Anyhow, Genesis is on its way back home (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=13971) - set to fly by the Earth in May and come in for re-entry in September.

Grand Vizier
2004-Apr-02, 05:23 PM
Oldest thread I've ever revived?

Anyhow, Genesis is on its way back home (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=13971) - set to fly by the Earth in May and come in for re-entry in September.

Snatching it in mid-air with a chopper sounds pretty hairy to me - just about the diciest part of the whole mission, I'd have thought. If they miss, and it gets shocked by impact, I hope the samples will still be usable.

ToSeek
2004-Apr-02, 05:35 PM
Oldest thread I've ever revived?

Anyhow, Genesis is on its way back home (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=13971) - set to fly by the Earth in May and come in for re-entry in September.

Snatching it in mid-air with a chopper sounds pretty hairy to me - just about the diciest part of the whole mission, I'd have thought. If they miss, and it gets shocked by impact, I hope the samples will still be usable.

Once upon a time, that was the routine way (http://www.hrw.com/science/si-science/earth/spacetravel/spacerace/SpaceRace/sec400/img/432l1p1.jpg) of getting back film from early spy satellites. (http://www.hrw.com/science/si-science/earth/spacetravel/spacerace/SpaceRace/sec400/sec430.html)

Grand Vizier
2004-Apr-02, 06:38 PM
Once upon a time, that was the routine way (http://www.hrw.com/science/si-science/earth/spacetravel/spacerace/SpaceRace/sec400/img/432l1p1.jpg) of getting back film from early spy satellites. (http://www.hrw.com/science/si-science/earth/spacetravel/spacerace/SpaceRace/sec400/sec430.html)

Yes - Corona/Discoverer was the first, I think. First off they actually used a sort of trapeze on a transport plane to snag the parachute shrouds, then they went to using a big net. But I believe they messed up a few catches along the way and had to fish the capsule out of the water (this was ocean recovery stuff).

I think the Soviets always went for a hard land touchdown with their photo capsules.

Anyway, there's only one chance at Genesis, probably for this decade at least (OK - there's Stardust on its way home too, and that will have caught some interstellar/interplanetary dust too, so two hits really). So here's hoping...

[Edited to say - Oh, sorry didn't look at your links. Yes that's it - though they don't mention missing the ball, just that the capsule was designed to float]

ToSeek
2004-Apr-06, 12:17 AM
NASA press release:


DC Agle (818) 393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Donald Savage (202) 358-1547/1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington

NEWS RELEASE: 2004-094 April 5, 2004*

NASA Spacecraft Locks the Vault on its Sapphire, Diamond Payload

Since October 2001 NASA's Genesis spacecraft has exposed specially designed collector arrays of sapphire, silicon, gold and diamond to the Sun's solar wind.

That collection of pristine particles of the Sun came to an end last week, when NASA's Genesis team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., ordered the spacecraft's collectors deactivated and stowed. The closeout process was completed when Genesis closed and sealed the spacecraft's sample-return capsule.

"This is a momentous step," said Genesis project manager Don Sweetnam. "We have concluded the solar-wind collection phase of the mission. Now we are focusing on returning to Earth, this September, NASA's first samples from space since Apollo
17 back in December 1972."

NASA's Genesis mission was launched in August 2001 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Three months and about one million miles later, the spacecraft began to amass solar wind particles on hexagonal wafer-shaped collectors made of pure silicon, gold, sapphire and diamond.

"The material our collector arrays are made of may sound exotic, but what is really unique about Genesis is what we collected on them," said mission principal investigator Don Burnett. "With Genesis we've had almost 27 months far beyond the Moon's orbit collecting atoms from the Sun. With data from this mission, we should be able to say what the sun is composed of at a level of precision for planetary science purposes that has never been seen before."

To get Genesis' precious cargo into the sterilized-gloved hands of Burnett and solar scientists around the world is an exotic endeavor in itself.

Later this month, Genesis will execute the first in a series of trajectory maneuvers that will place the spacecraft on a route toward Earth. On Sept. 8, 2004, the spacecraft will dispatch a sample-return capsule containing its solar booty. The capsule will re-enter Earth's atmosphere for a planned landing at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at about 9:15 a.m. EDT.

To preserve the delicate particles of the Sun in their prisons of gold, sapphire and diamond, specially trained helicopter pilots will snag the return capsule from mid-air using giant hooks. The flight crews for the two helicopters assigned for the capture and return of Genesis are former military aviators, Hollywood stunt pilots and an active-duty Air Force test pilot.

For information about NASA and agency missions on the Internet, visit <http://jpl.convio.net/site/R?i=AMZ3mhEGDZlO-3BCLCXxIg..>http://www.nasa.gov . For information about Genesis on the Internet, visit <http://jpl.convio.net/site/R?i=EC9J1_ljlFRO-3BCLCXxIg..>http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov/ . For information about the capture-and-return process on the Internet, visit <http://jpl.convio.net/site/R?i=fNItNMlpu2JO-3BCLCXxIg..>http://www.genesismission.org/mission/recgallery.html .

-end-

Grand Vizier
2004-Apr-06, 12:27 AM
NASA press release:



[...]
The flight crews for the two helicopters assigned for the capture and return of Genesis are former military aviators, Hollywood stunt pilots and an active-duty Air Force test pilot.
[...]


Gulp. OK, OK already. Just don't tell those guys I appeared to doubt them. Honest, guys, I was only kidding, I always knew you could do it...

ToSeek
2004-Apr-06, 04:19 PM
Further coverage, with illustration (http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid= 910&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)

Not shown are the terrorists shooting at the helicopter and the ticking time bomb in the back that one of them is desperately trying to defuse (you know these stunt pilots - it's never exciting enough!).

Grand Vizier
2004-Apr-06, 04:41 PM
Not shown are the terrorists shooting at the helicopter and the ticking time bomb in the back that one of them is desperately trying to defuse (you know these stunt pilots - it's never exciting enough!).

Ah, I see, not content with attacking us with osmium tetroxide at ~£100 per gram...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3604857.stm

...those fiendish terrorists now want to capture Genesis and threaten us with a deadly extraterrestrial plague.

This must, of course, be the Wily Coyote/Dick Dastardly school of terrorism. We must restrict all purchases from the Acme Hardware Company forthwith!

JohnOwens
2004-Apr-06, 05:11 PM
Not shown are the terrorists shooting at the helicopter and the ticking time bomb in the back that one of them is desperately trying to defuse (you know these stunt pilots - it's never exciting enough!).
Ah, I see, not content with attacking us with osmium tetroxide at ~£100 per gram...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3604857.stm

...those fiendish terrorists now want to capture Genesis and threaten us with a deadly extraterrestrial plague.
KHAAAAN!!! (http://www.khaaan.com/)

Kaptain K
2004-Apr-06, 07:38 PM
We must restrict all purchases from the Acme Hardware Company forthwith!
[Snagglepuss voice] Fifthwith even! [/Snagglepuss voice]

ToSeek
2004-Apr-07, 04:04 PM
You can watch them practice (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=14000) (well, if you can get a press pass, at least)

"Yes, nice to meet you. Oh, and my friend Grand Vizier here doesn't think you guys are man enough to succeed."

;)

Grand Vizier
2004-Apr-07, 07:11 PM
"Yes, nice to meet you. Oh, and my friend Grand Vizier here doesn't think you guys are man enough to succeed."

;)

Only kidding, guys 8-[

ToSeek
2004-Apr-15, 04:52 PM
Stunt Pilots to Help NASA's Bid to Catch Solar Dust (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/US/solar_catcher_CSM_040415.html)

sarongsong
2004-May-04, 08:23 AM
"...Dan Rudert, who's flown for such films as The Hulk and S.W.A.T., successfully made a practice snatch at about 7,000 feet and brought a stand-in capsule to Michael Army Air Field last week. Rudert said he didn't know what to make of the NASA plan when he was first approached. "You picture flames coming off of it as it's coming in," he told The Salt Lake Tribune."
http://avweb.com/
Why the Utah Test and Training Range, northwest of Salt Lake, for this?

Kaptain K
2004-May-04, 08:45 AM
Why the Utah Test and Training Range, northwest of Salt Lake, for this?
1) It's flat. plenty of room to manuver.
2) It's uninhabited. If they miss, nobody gets hurt.
3) It's controlled airspace. No papparazzi to get in the way.
4) It's in the right hemisphere at the time of re-entry.

sarongsong
2004-May-05, 01:19 AM
Thank you very much, Captan K!
They probably do a lot of things there then---just hadn't heard much about the place til now.

ToSeek
2004-May-06, 01:13 AM
Press release:



Status Report: 2004-118 *****May 5, 2004

NASA Genesis Spacecraft on Final Lap Toward Home

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 <http://jpl.convio.net/site/R?i=RDfLdnDengFO-3BCLCXxIg..>www.jpl.nasa.gov/genesis

More information about the actual capture and return process is available at <http://jpl.convio.net/site/R?i=3DyuuYWS6HJO-3BCLCXxIg..>http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/genesis/mission/recgallery.html

-end-

ToSeek
2004-Jun-02, 04:30 PM
Astrobiology.com interview with the Principal Investigator for Genesis: Capturing the solar wind (http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid= 996&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)


Planetary scientists are interested in matter from the solar surface because it has essentially preserved the chemical and isotopic composition of the solar nebula from which all planetary materials formed. The difference in composition between solar nebula material that we capture with Genesis and any other material - for example, cometary dust grains - is a major constraint on theories of how the material formed.

ToSeek
2004-Aug-12, 12:30 AM
Trajectory Maneuver Brings Spacecraft Closer to Home

Thirty days before its historic return to Earth with NASA's first samples from space since the Apollo missions, the Genesis spacecraft successfully completed its twentieth trajectory maneuver.

At 12:00 Universal Time (5:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time), Mon., August 9, Genesis fired its 90 gram (.2 pound) thrusters for a grand total of 50 minutes, changing the solar sampler's speed by 1.4 meters per second (about 3.1 miles per hour). The maneuver required half a kilogram (1.1 pounds) of hydrazine monopropellant to complete.

"It was a textbook maneuver," said Ed Hirst, Genesis's mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "After sifting through all the post-burn data, I expect we will find ourselves right on the money."

The Genesis mission was launched in August of 2001 on a journey 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 provides will supply scientists with vital information on the composition of the Sun, and will shed light on the origins of our solar system.

Helicopter flight crews, navigators and mission engineers continue to prepare for the return of the Genesis spacecraft on September 8. On that date, Genesis 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. To preserve the delicate particles of the Sun in their prisons of silicon, gold, sapphire and diamond, specially trained helicopter pilots will snag the return capsule from mid-air using the space-age equivalent of a fisherman's rod and reel. 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 Space Mission Directorate, Washington, DC. 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.

AK
2004-Aug-12, 03:22 AM
Dumb question: rather than sitting right on the Lagrange point, it's orbiting the point, no? So, how far out can a craft orbit the L1 point and have it remain stable [enough]?

I guess what I'm wondering is spatially how much room is available. I mean, SOHO is there too, right?

ToSeek
2004-Aug-12, 01:31 PM
Dumb question: rather than sitting right on the Lagrange point, it's orbiting the point, no? So, how far out can a craft orbit the L1 point and have it remain stable [enough]?

I guess what I'm wondering is spatially how much room is available. I mean, SOHO is there too, right?

SOHO's halo orbit (http://solar-center.stanford.edu/FAQ/QL1.html) has dimensions on the order of 10^5 kilometers, so I think there's plenty of room for company.

ToSeek
2004-Aug-17, 04:28 PM
Stunt Pilot Swoops In for NASA Role (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-genesis17aug17,1,5640748.story?coll=la-home-headlines) (registration required but free)


Fleming is squeezing the midair capture of Genesis in between filming for "Batman 5," starring Christian Bale, and the second "XXX" movie, starring Ice Cube, due out in 2005.

ToSeek
2004-Aug-20, 05:12 PM
NASA Mission Returns With A Piece Of The Sun (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040820084246.htm)

Some details about the capture effort:


"Each helicopter will carry a crew of three," said Roy Haggard, chief executive officer of Vertigo Inc. and director of flight operations for the lead helicopter. "The lead helicopter will deploy an eighteen-and-a-half foot long pole with what you could best describe as an oversized, Space-Age fishing hook on its end. When we make the approach we want the helicopter skids to be about eight feet above the top of the parafoil. If for some reason the capture is not successful, the second helicopter is 1,000 feet behind us and setting up for its approach. We estimate we will have five opportunities to achieve capture."

ToSeek
2004-Aug-23, 04:22 PM
Flying the Sun to Safety (http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid= 1149&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)


"I had the pleasure of trying to track down the two best pilots in the world that would be willing to do this mission," says Haggard. "I've talked to many good helicopter pilots, and most are acrophobic. They don't like being up high in the air - they spend their entire lives between the ground and maybe 500 feet, seldom over 1,000 feet. We say, 'Well, we want you to loiter at 10,000 feet, " and they say, 'No I don't want to do that.'"

"Then we say, 'Oh, and we want you to do an intentional mid-air collision with another aircraft. And you're going to capture it and then set it down on the ground.' They say, 'No, I don't want to do that - that sounds like a stunt!' In every avenue we explored, we were always referred back to stunt pilots. Among the six flight crew members, five hold Screen Actor's Guild cards as stunt men. We know that the best civilian pilots do fly stunts for Hollywood because it is the most exciting, entertaining, and challenging work they can find."

ToSeek
2004-Aug-30, 05:23 PM
The Genesis Payload: Just How Dangerous are its Contents? (http://space.com/missionlaunches/mystery_monday_040830.html)



When NASA’s Genesis solar-wind sample return capsule skyrockets from space next week and drops into the Utah Test and Training Range, that landmark in civilian space draws upon a once classified satellite snooping program.

What's more, historically speaking, Genesis is also a trailblazer for the future. The mission is the opening volley in recovery spacecraft built to bring back to Earth extraterrestrial specimens.

The subtitle is not particularly relevant to the article.