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Genesis Spacecraft in Collection Configuration
The Genesis spacecraft opened for collection of solar wind.

The Genesis spacecraft opened for collection of solar wind. This artist's conception of the Genesis spacecraft shows it in full operational mode, opened up to collect and store samples of solar wind particles. The cover of the science canister, shown on the right, contains one set of collection materials. It is the same kind of hexagonal silicon wafer array that comprises the stack of four arrays that were rotated out of the interior of the canister when the spacecraft began to orbit L1. The bottom three of the stacked arrays are controlled independently, and may be rotated out from the cover of the top of the stack to collect particular types of solar wind. Inside the canister is an electrostatic concentrator to increase the collection of light-weight solar wind particles. It is exposed when the array stack is rotated out. The two solar panels, shown in blue in this drawing, which extend to the side of the spacecraft bus, provide electrical energy for the functions performed by the rest of the spacecraft. The two balls, shown in pink in this drawing, which sit at the sides of the spacecraft contain fuel for the small thruster rockets that maintain the Genesis spacecraft's orientation facing the Sun during its collection phase.

Credit: NASA/JPL

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