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Glenn Mahone / Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1600)

September 8, 2004
 
RELEASE : 04-291
 
 
NASA Administrator Says Exploration Is Difficult But Essential
 
 
The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe regarding today's Genesis Sample Return Mission at the U.S. Air Force Test and Training Range, Dugway Proving Ground, southwest of Salt Lake City.

"We're encouraged by the news out of Utah, despite the hard impact landing of the Genesis Sample Return capsule. The spacecraft was designed in a way to give us the best chance at salvaging the valuable science payload should we suffer a landing like the one we witnessed today.

"Our re-entry plan was based on safety, and the choice of Dugway was intentional. While today's developments may be disappointing to some, I know the entire NASA family is thankful no one was injured.

"Exploration of the heavens is not an easy task. Our ability to travel throughout our solar system is limited, whether by human tended or robotic craft. Genesis was an experiment to journey far from home and return with new clues and possible answers to some of the fundamental questions regarding the origin of our universe.

"With each new mission, we push the frontiers of our knowledge and technology, and we're hopeful that what appears to be a setback, will eventually return some impressive results. After all, this isn't an Olympic event where we're awarded a medal for a perfect landing. Our final achievement will be measured by what we've learned over the entire three-year mission.

"Our scientists and engineers across NASA and our Jet Propulsion Laboratory are the best in the world. We will find out what happened to Genesis, and we'll continue our quest to accomplish the goals spelled out in our Vision for Space Exploration."

For information about the Genesis Sample Return Mission on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/genesis

 

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