Genesis Sample Return Capsule Hits the Ground

The Genesis sample return capsule’s drogue and parafoil did not deploy as planned today, and the capsule impacted on the ground in the Utah desert (image at right). Since the spacecraft landed in a remote area, no people have been injured and no structures have been damaged. NASA has declared a spacecraft contingency, which calls for the establishment of a mishap review board within 72 hours. As always, safety is the top priority, and NASA is working to make sure that no one is in danger from unexploded ordnance that was supposed to deploy the parachutes.

From NASA:

Genesis Sample Return Capsule Hits the Ground

The Genesis sample return capsule’s drogue and parafoil did not deploy as planned today, and the capsule impacted on the ground in the Utah desert (image at right). Since the spacecraft landed in a remote area, no people have been injured and no structures have been damaged. NASA has declared a spacecraft contingency, which calls for the establishment of a mishap review board within 72 hours.

As always, safety is the top priority, and NASA is working to make sure that no one is in danger from unexploded ordnance that was supposed to deploy the parachutes.

NASA is looking at trajectory and other data to determine what may have led to the failure of the parachutes to deploy. The capsule was designed to be able to survive such a landing. Until the spacecraft is transported to a ”clean room” in Utah, NASA will not know the condition of the science samples, solar particles that were captured by Genesis and stored in the capsule.

NASA will share whatever we learn with the public as soon as possible.


The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Have a question? Let us know.

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