Genesis Mission Status Report
Genesis team scientists and engineers continue their work on
the mission's sample return canister in a specially constructed
clean room at the U.S. Army Proving Ground in Dugway, Utah. As
more of the capsule's contents are revealed, the team's level
of enthusiasm for the amount of science obtainable continues to
At present, the science canister that holds the majority of the
mission's scientific samples is lying upside down - on its lid.
Scientists are very methodically working their way "up" from
the bottom portion of the canister by trimming away small
portions of the canister's wall. The team continues to
extract, from the interior of the science canister, small but
potentially analyzable fragments of collector array material.
One-half of a sapphire wafer was collected Tuesday - the
biggest piece of collector array to date.
The mission's main priority is to measure oxygen isotopes to
determine which of several theories is correct regarding the
role of oxygen in the formation of the solar system. Scientists
hope to determine this with isotopes collected in the four
target segments of the solar wind concentrator carried by the
Genesis spacecraft. The condition of these segments will be
better known over the next few days, after the canister's solar
wind concentrator is extricated. At this time, it is believed
that three of these segments are relatively intact and that the
fourth may have sustained one or more fractures.
There are no concrete plans regarding the shipping date of the
Genesis capsule or its contents from Dugway to the Johnson
Space Center in Houston. The team continues its meticulous work
and believes that a significant repository of solar wind
materials may have survived that will keep the science
community busy for some time.
The Genesis sample return capsule landed well within the
projected ellipse path in the Utah Test and Training Range on
Sept. 8, but its parachutes did not open. It impacted the
ground at nearly 320 kilometers per hour (nearly 200 miles per
For more information regarding the recovery and analysis of
Genesis samples please contact Bill Jeffs of NASA Johnson Space
Center at 281-483-5035 or via email at
News and information about Genesis is available on the Internet
. For background information
about Genesis, visit http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov/
information about NASA on the Internet, visit
DC Agle (818) 393-5011
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Bill Jeffs (281) 438-5035
Johnson Space Center
Donald Savage (202) 358-1547
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.