View Full Version : Helicopter Will Catch Samples from Genesis

2005-Sep-12, 08:23 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Genesis spacecraft has nearly returned to Earth with its precious cargo of particles from the solar wind. On September 8, the spacecraft's sample return capsule will enter the Earth's atmosphere, and it will be captured in midair by a helicopter in Utah. The particles were collected over the course of 27 months, and captured in hexagonal wafers of pure silicon, gold, sapphire, and diamond. These are so fragile, that engineers didn't want to risk it actually striking the ground and damaging some of these wafers. Two helicopters will be in the air as the capsule parachutes down, and they should have 5 opportunities to snag it before it hits the ground.

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