Wednesday, September 08, 2004
A member of the Genesis Sample Return team attempts to figure out what the hell happened (Associated Press from NASA/JPL)
When I first heard of the plan to retrieve the Genesis Space Capsule was "Is that the best plan they have?"
Genesis was a probe built to collect particles of the sun's solar wind and return them to earth. Due to the extra-sensitive nature of the cargo, a helicopter was supposed to catch the parachute-slowed spacecraft. "Right, I'll believe it when I see it."
I was then wicked irony then when I saw that the spacecraft didn't casually drift down to earth, to be scooped up the the copters. Instead, the chutes failed to open, and proceeded to imbed itself itself into the soft Utah desert.
Hopefully scientists can retrieve something useful out of the spacecraft, other than the lesson to double-check the batteries that deploy your spacecraft's parachutes.
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