NOTE TO EDITORS:
MEDIA AVAILABILITY BEFORE DRAMATIC MID-AIR SPACECRAFT
News media interested in participating in the NASA Langley
Genesis media availability on Thursday, Aug. 26, should call Keith
Henry at 864-6120/344-7211 or Margarette Lynch at 864-6124 to
arrange for access and escort to the Newsroom.
NASA Langley researchers Prasun Desai and Ron
Merski with a wind tunnel model of the Genesis solar sample return
capsule. The full-sized capsule is due to make a high-speed Earth
reentry Sept. 8 after a two-year mission to collect solar particles
and return them safely to Earth.
Image: NASA/Jeff Caplan
NASA Langley researchers will be closely watching the dramatic
mid-air capture of the NASA Genesis spacecraft, set to return to
Earth after a three year journey through the solar system
collecting microscopic particles from the sun's solar wind.
As with the successful entry, descent and landing of the Mars
Exploration Rovers early this year, Langley specialists have worked
to help ensure that the Genesis return capsule will be in the
target zone for its much-anticipated atmospheric entry. Unlike the
Mars mission, the Genesis spacecraft is returning to Earth and will
feature a mid-air capture by helicopter.
On Aug. 26 from 10-11 a.m., NASA Langley Genesis spokespersons
will be available to address Langley's role in the Genesis solar
sample return mission led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The capsule is on target for Earth reentry Sept. 8 shortly
before noon EDT. The capture is expected to take place at
approximately 12:15 p.m. EDT over a U.S. Air Force Test and
Training Range in Utah.
NASA Langley helped design the entry capsule for Genesis related
to flight dynamics, aerodynamics and aerotherodynamics during the
spacecraft's development phase. NASA Langley is part of the
Navigation Operations Team, helping predict the landing location
and the size of the landing footprint that will be used to properly
position recovery helicopters. Langley researchers are responsible
for the entry, descent and landing analysis for the re-entry for
the Project. This information is used to support the reentry
go/no-go decision process.
For information and images regarding the Genesis sample return
mission on the Internet, visit: