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John L
2004-Sep-08, 04:31 PM
Well, the parachutes failed to deploy on the Genesis probe, returning samples of solar wind particles, and the probe dug itself into the Utah desert this morning. The probe was designed with collectors made of silicon, gold, diamond, sapphire, and other materials to collect the few tiny particles that it could of the solar wind and return them to Earth for study. This would have been the first sample return mission since the last Apollo mission in 1972. The mission was designed so that the sample return capsule would be caught in midair as it drifted down under its parachutes by waiting helicopters. The pilots of those helicopters have spent the last five years training for this mission. The probe was to be caught in midair to protest the delicate collector disks into the sample return capsule. Unfortunately it hit the desert at about 300 mph.

Fraser
2004-Sep-08, 04:38 PM
SUMMARY: Helicopters were waiting in Utah to gently catch a capsule from the Genesis probe carrying precious samples of the Sun's solar wind, but the safe recovery didn't happen. It appears that the capsule's parachute failed to open as it entered the Earth atmosphere, and it crashed into the ground at 161 km/h (100 mph). It could take some time to recover the capsule because the charges designed to open the parachute might still be live, and could still explode. The $264 million mission was launched in 2001, and carried delicate wafers of pure silicon, gold, sapphire, and diamond designed to gently catch solar wind particles. It's unknown how much of the experiment can be recovered at this point.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

astronomy2004
2004-Sep-08, 04:38 PM
i thought we had it and now all hopes are gone :(

Duane
2004-Sep-08, 04:43 PM
Tragic! I was looking so forward to this :(

Maybe there will be something they can salvage.

John L
2004-Sep-08, 04:52 PM
I think the point of catching it was so they didn't shake any particles loose on landing, but I agree that they'll probably still sift through the remains for something. They won't get the return had they caught it, but they'll get something...

Guest
2004-Sep-08, 04:55 PM
This is terrible :angry: what is NASA up to ?

antoniseb
2004-Sep-08, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by astronomy2004@Sep 8 2004, 04:38 PM
i thought we had it and now all hopes are gone
I am very disappointed, but there are two rays of hope:
1. The container may still be sealed, and it could be possible to collect meaningful data from the remains.
2. The mission was fairly inexpensive as these things go, and another one can be launched eventually.

Two rays of hope aside, let me repeat that I am very disappointed.

Duane
2004-Sep-08, 05:20 PM
Yes, they will be able to sort through the contamination and get something. Dang, too bad though :(

StarLab
2004-Sep-08, 05:32 PM
Oh gee, like that&#39;s news to me. :rolleyes: :angry: Yet another NASA failure. :ph34r: :o :ph34r: Maybe in a decade or two, everything will be done by private enterprises. <_< :unsure:

StarLab
2004-Sep-08, 05:40 PM
Maybe things would have turned out different had they let it drift into the ocean. Even so, had it&#39;s parachute failed over the ocean, it would drop in soft water rather than on dry land.

Duane
2004-Sep-08, 05:48 PM
Actually Starlab, at that speed the "soft water" would have been as hard as concrete. At least they can look in the crater for something that may have survived.

StarLab
2004-Sep-08, 05:54 PM
Hmm... :D

astronomy2004
2004-Sep-08, 05:56 PM
fraser posted an article on the genesis also.

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-08, 05:56 PM
It is a sad day for Don Burnett and the talented team of scientists working on this project.

This reminds me of the childhood story about the war that was lost because a nail was lost from a hores-shoe.

Many actions had to occur properly in a long chain of events for the mission to be successful.

To try, and fail, is
better than not to try.

With regrets,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om


PS - I thought the New York Times put the cost at about &#036;500 million.

astronomy2004
2004-Sep-08, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by antoniseb+Sep 8 2004, 01:00 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (antoniseb @ Sep 8 2004, 01:00 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-astronomy2004@Sep 8 2004, 04:38 PM
i thought we had it and now all hopes are gone
I am very disappointed, but there are two rays of hope:
1. The container may still be sealed, and it could be possible to collect meaningful data from the remains.
2. The mission was fairly inexpensive as these things go, and another one can be launched eventually.

Two rays of hope aside, let me repeat that I am very disappointed. [/b][/quote]
it looks cracked to me.
http://www.universetoday.com/am/uploads/2004-0908genesis-sm.jpg

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-08, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by astronomy2004@Sep 8 2004, 05:58 PM

it looks cracked to me.
http://www.universetoday.com/am/uploads/2004-0908genesis-sm.jpg
It looks broken open to me&#33;

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Fraser
2004-Sep-08, 06:16 PM
It does look a little worse for wear.

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/64707main_First.jpg

Dave Mitsky
2004-Sep-08, 06:24 PM
Sorry, I couldn&#39;t resist the pun. Anyway the Genesis probe was not caught in mid-air and crash landed. No word yet of how it fared.

Dave Mitsky

StarLab
2004-Sep-08, 06:28 PM
This is the third string on Genesis&#39;s failure. We do not need any more. <_< :rolleyes: :unsure:

Fraser
2004-Sep-08, 06:34 PM
Okay, I&#39;ve merged all the Genesis failure conversations. Let&#39;s commiserate here.

AndyHolland
2004-Sep-08, 06:54 PM
Reading about this thing, I never understood why. Helium was first discovered on the Sun from spectroscopy. We now have the ability to differentiate between U235 and U238 atoms based on electron orbitals&#33;

What could we possibly learn from these "atoms", that we couldn&#39;t have found from neutron activation analysis or other remote method? NAA would have been allot cheaper, easier and continuous.

andy

antoniseb
2004-Sep-08, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by AndyHolland@Sep 8 2004, 06:54 PM
What could we possibly learn from these "atoms", that we couldn&#39;t have found from neutron activation analysis or other remote method?
What we could have learned was specifics of how many of each type were coming out of the sun at various times.

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-08, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by AndyHolland@Sep 8 2004, 06:54 PM
Reading about this thing, I never understood why. Helium was first discovered on the Sun from spectroscopy. We now have the ability to differentiate between U235 and U238 atoms based on electron orbitals&#33;

What could we possibly learn from these "atoms", that we couldn&#39;t have found from neutron activation analysis or other remote method? NAA would have been allot cheaper, easier and continuous.

andy
Andy,

I am saddened by the loss of this experiment. A lot of effort went into its design.

However, I am not personally convinced that we would have learned more from solar-wind elements collected during a 27 month period of high sunspot activity than we have learned already from solar-wind elements implanted in the surface of lunar dirt over billions of years.

Volatile elements implanted in the surfaces of lunar soils by the solar wind generally show an obvious, mass-dependent excess of light isotopes. It looks as if 9-stages of mass-dependent fractionation each successively enriched the lighter isotope by the square root of the mass ratio.

I.e., in the solar wind the Ne-20/Ne-22 isotope ratio is enriched by about (22/20)^4.5

or log (Enrichment) = (9)(0.5) log (22/20)

More energetic volatile elements, implanted into the surfaces of lunar soils by solar flares, generally show a smaller excess of the light isotopes, as if 3-stages of mass dependent fractionation are by-passed. Only about 6-stages of mass-dependent fractionation remain.

I.e., in solar flares the Ne-20/Ne-22 isotope ratio is enriched by about (22/20)^3.0

or log (Enrichment) = (6)(0.5) log (22/20)

A direct measurement on Mg isotopes coming from the Sun also found less mass separation in solar flares than in the solar wind.

These experimental findings are discussed in the paper, "Composition of the Solar Interior: Information from Isotope Ratios", Proc. SOHO 12 / GONG+ 2002 Conference: Local and Global Helioseismology (ed: Huguette Lacoste, ESP SP-517) 27 October - 1 November 2002, Big Bear Lake, California, USA.
http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2002/soho-gong2002.pdf
http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2002/soho-gong2002.ps

Although neutron activation analysis (NAA) is a good technique for many types of analyses, it cannot be used to determine all of the isotopes of all of the elements.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

PS - Incidentally, we used NAA successfully in 1979 to find isotopically "strange" Tellurium in minerals of the Allende meteorite that contain isotopically "strange" Xenon ["Isotopes of tellurium, xenon and krypton in Allende meteorite retain record of nucleosynthesis", Nature 277 (1979) 615-620].

Decepticons
2004-Sep-08, 08:24 PM
What a bummer. The worst part (other than the loss to the science community) is that this will be a good excuse to further cut space research funding. Those that oppose spending money on space exploration will have a field day with this.

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-08, 08:27 PM
I was wrong about the New York Times report.

It said, "The mission cost &#036;260 million."

I don&#39;t know if this includes all costs.

The NYT report also said, "The total amount of solar wind collected is about one-thirty-thousandth of an ounce."

Don Burnett noted that, "We have a billion billion atoms to study."

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

tanichols
2004-Sep-08, 09:25 PM
All,

Really Sad to see what happened to Genesis. I thought this as one of the neatest mission concepts&#33;

In 2001, while working at JPL on the Europa Orbiter Project I worked right around the corner from the guys you&#39;re seeing on TV who worked on Genesis and attended the Launch "Party" and Reception at JPL. It was really exciting, for it was the first time I was ever with the people who devoted so much of their time to a project, seeing it with them launch into space. Mr. Sweetnam, Mission Project Manager, always said Hello in the hall, and I believe my only interaction with him was trying to buy one of the neat Genesis Polo Shirts he always was wearing :) . Unfortunately I missed the out on getting a shirt ordered but I did get some neat stickers&#33;

However, when this happened today I immediately recalled a NASA Press Release I Got E-mail Wise about the Mission back in November of &#39;01. Maybe some of you remember it?

I was able to dig it up, this is quite suspect. Here&#39;s a link to an article on the problem the press release talks about: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/sola...sis_011102.html (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/battery_genesis_011102.html) .

"Genesis Status Report
November 5, 2001
Project managers are monitoring the temperature of the battery inside Genesis&#39; sample return capsule to make sure that long-term heating does not impair its performance when the capsule returns to Earth in September 2004. Although the battery is likely to become hotter than originally expected, the flight team has a number of options for managing the battery&#39;s temperature, and they do not expect the issue to affect the mission.
The mission&#39;s science requirements call for 22 months of solar wind particle collection. "In our current plan Genesis will meet and exceed that goal, collecting up to 26 months&#39; worth of solar wind particles," said Chet Sasaki, Genesis project manager at NASA&#39;s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
The temperature of the lithium-dioxide battery is currently at 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit), within the range anticipated by spacecraft designers. A radiator device intended to shield the battery is not working as well as expected, however, and the battery is likely to heat up to 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit). Mission managers consider this temperature to be within acceptable limits. They note that similar batteries have been maintained at 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 months without impairing their performance. Ground tests are being conducted on lithium batteries to measure their durability at various temperatures.
The Genesis project team has been attempting to bake potential contaminants off the battery&#39;s radiator by heating the area. They are doing this with the spacecraft&#39;s sample return backshell opened just enough to allow gas trapped inside the capsule to escape, while still avoiding exposure to the Sun."

No guarantee this is what caused the problem, but I&#39;m sure this is something the mishap investigation team will thoroughly look into.

Anyways, too neat of a mission with Awesome Science not to attempt a redo&#33; Genesis 2 anyone?

Regards,
Ted A. Nichols II
President - ASH
www.astrohbg.org

astromark
2004-Sep-09, 12:10 AM
:o Bugger... So much work, so much hope, so much money. A month ago I viewed my negative view of this capture method of recovery, but I did not predict a chute non deployment. I hope they can find the funding to go again. We must not let these set backs dampen our search for knowledge. Lets hope some data can be retrieved...
Just a thought; why not just place it in safe orbit, and pick it up latter, va the shuttle..

BLACK_MONOLITH
2004-Sep-09, 12:22 AM
that just sucks..

Algenon the mouse
2004-Sep-09, 12:27 AM
When I first saw it, it looked like something that crashed awhile back in Roswell (jk)


It looks pretty good for crashing like it did.

I am still hopeful that we could learn something from either what remains of the Genesis or from the recovery itself. In spite of the cost, I think it is worth a redo.

If you at first you do not suceed.....

StarLab
2004-Sep-09, 12:34 AM
...try, try again&#33; :lol:
However, Tani noted something interesting: though experimentations have been done, this was the real thing. I think there should have been a real practice one of the same composition that is dropped from the shuttle down through the atmosphere so we could see the outcome. I just think the best method of practice is just to go out there into the real world and just start doing it. Otherwise, experiment and experience is flawed. This is the second time in two years a problem occured during reentry; the last time was Columbia.

BLACK_MONOLITH
2004-Sep-09, 01:10 AM
why couldnt they have picked the genesis up in space?? for example, put it into low orbit around earth so we could scoop it up safely there?? was it a &#036;&#036;&#036; issue??

TuTone
2004-Sep-09, 02:28 AM
It&#39;s sad. A lot of money was put into the project, but that shouldn&#39;t keep NASA down. It&#39;s just a lesson learned.

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-09, 02:48 AM
Originally posted by TuTone@Sep 9 2004, 02:28 AM
It&#39;s sad. A lot of money was put into the project, but that shouldn&#39;t keep NASA down. It&#39;s just a lesson learned.
I agree, TuTone.

A lot was learned along the way.

Hopefully that will put to use.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Algenon the mouse
2004-Sep-09, 02:55 AM
I do not know why they could not pick it up from space...I know that it is a bit more complicated than it sounds since you have to link paths of two different objects in space. I tried to do it before in a computer simulation.

I just read this at CNN about the scientists being cautiously optimistic:

"Certain elements of the design should help piece the science together," said Andrew Dantzler, NASA&#39;s solar system division director. "We don&#39;t know the condition of the collectors that hold the science. We&#39;ll be learning that in the hours, days, weeks to come."

StarLab
2004-Sep-09, 03:18 AM
It&#39;s bad science, not having full control of the situation, especially when what is done is full-blown interference with nature. Scientists, especially at a gov&#39;t agency, should be prepared for anything&#33; :angry: <_< :rolleyes:
I agree with Monnie, though - though a rendez-vous in space might be complex, the risk factor - rather than the probe - would certainly go down with a plunge.

Algenon the mouse
2004-Sep-09, 03:35 AM
Must be the teacher in me that says that with every mistake there is room for a learning curve. As much as we would like science to be in total control, there is always unknown variables that we have not forseen. Sometimes we have to make mistakes to get something right. The first pyramids collasped. The engineers learned from their expensive mistakes and now we have "great" pyramids.

eyeinthesky77
2004-Sep-09, 08:15 AM
:(

ons
2004-Sep-09, 09:37 AM
What a disgrace


http://www.space.com/news/genesis_reaction_040908.html

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/...ule_utdp114.jpg (http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040909/capt.utdp11409090226.genesis_capsule_utdp114.jpg)

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/...ule_utdp116.jpg (http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040909/capt.utdp11609090233.genesis_capsule_utdp116.jpg)

the six-year mission with lots of science and time and , &#036;260 million ( U.S. dollars ) and lots of work in this mission fails re-entry and becomes a destroyed lump of metal, science and broken wires, and contamination on the ground :angry: .

The safety record of NASA is a mess, manned missions are halted.. and right now Bush is planning on forking out a dangerous project that will blast off our people to Mars in one of the most insane kamikaze visions of all time. :( The Space industry is a mess and we need a whole lot of work to do.

Let&#39;s hope that Stardust doesn&#39;t end up as a ball of destruction in Jan&#39; 2006

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-09, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by ons@Sep 9 2004, 09:37 AM
What a disgrace


http://www.space.com/news/genesis_reaction_040908.html

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/...ule_utdp114.jpg (http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040909/capt.utdp11409090226.genesis_capsule_utdp114.jpg)

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/...ule_utdp116.jpg (http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040909/capt.utdp11609090233.genesis_capsule_utdp116.jpg)

the six-year mission with lots of science and time and , &#036;260 million ( U.S. dollars ) and lots of work in this mission fails re-entry and becomes a destroyed lump of metal, science and broken wires, and contamination on the ground :angry: .

The safety record of NASA is a mess, manned missions are halted.. and right now Bush is planning on forking out a dangerous project that will blast off our people to Mars in one of the most insane kamikaze visions of all time. :( The Space industry is a mess and we need a whole lot of work to do.

Let&#39;s hope that Stardust doesn&#39;t end up as a ball of destruction in Jan&#39; 2006
ons,

NASA performed superbly in the 1960s and early 1970s during the Apollo missions to the Moon.

I have personally witnessed the destruction of that agency with dismay since then.

I agree NASA is now a mess.

The fault lies not so much with NASA, as with a powerful lobby of scientists who used their positions of influence in Washington to force NASA to serve their personal purposes.

Follow the money.

The problem begins with the hands that control NASA&#39;s budget.

Regretfully,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Guest
2004-Sep-09, 02:42 PM
Sorry, could not resist&#33; Saw this in a newspaper:

What do you call a sattelite whose parachutes failed to open after re-entry?

.
.
.

A splattelite&#33;

antoniseb
2004-Sep-09, 03:13 PM
Not a total disaster.

Here&#39;s the current CNN story saying that the collecting plates may be recovered, and some significant science can still be done with them.


"This is something that&#39;s not a total disaster," said Carlton Allen, astromaterials curator for the Houston-based Johnson Space Center. "We didn&#39;t lose all the science in the crash."
Genesis Crash (http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/09/09/genesis.crash.ap/index.html)

AndyHolland
2004-Sep-10, 07:50 PM
Oliver,

Thank you for your excellent answer. I thought remote methods were better than they are. Maybe it would be worth &#036;260M to improve them :)

I wondered if there might be something else going on given Los Alamos involvement, but it is my paranoid nature. Perhaps a search for super heavys or something exotic that we may not be privy to. It just seemed like a very strange sort of experiment - atoms are atoms, isotopes are isotopes.

Your reply indicates that it may make sense.

andy

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-10, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by AndyHolland@Sep 10 2004, 07:50 PM
Oliver,

Your reply indicates that it may make sense.

Yes, Andy it may make sense.

However common sense was in short supply.

From that point of view, one would first ask what had been learned from all the solar wind atoms in the lunar samples returned 30 years ago by the Apollo Mission?

Those solar-wind atoms of He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe are systematically enriched in light mass (L) isotopes relative to heavy mass (H) isotopes by a common fractionation factor (F),

(F) = (H/L)^4.56 or

log (F) = 4.56 log (H/L)

That is the experimental basis for a paper concluding the Sun is mostly Fe rather than H ["Solar Abundance of the Elements", Meteoritics 18, pages 209-222].

A lot of talent is represented in the team of scientists Don Burnett assembled for the Genesis Mission. but I would have asked them to explain the above data, already on hand, before investing &#036;260,000,000 to collect more solar wind atoms.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Guest
2004-Sep-18, 03:33 PM
NASA’s Genesis sample capsule not only stirred up dust and dirt when it crash-landed in Utah last week, but also debate concerning the return to Earth of future extraterrestrial samples — specifically, from Mars

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6022230/