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Space journey ends in crash

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Froggy, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. My questions are...What exactly did the spacecraft bring back? Were the samples that were collected ever intended to be released into our atmosphere? What are the chances of some kind of dormant virus or disease unknown to earth, having been safely escorted on to the planet where it can now incubate.:eek:

    It at least make a good plot for a sci-fi flick ;)
    Read article
     
  2. Sorry about that!!!! Here's the article

    Updated: 01:26 PM EDT
    Plan to Soften Space Capsule's Landing Fails
    Genesis' Parachute Fails to Deploy, Thwarting Stunt Pilots
    By PAUL FOY, AP

    DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah (Sept. 8) -- The Genesis space capsule, which had orbited the sun for more than three years in an attempt to find clues to the origin of the solar system, crashed to Earth on Wednesday after its parachute failed to deploy.

    It wasn't immediately known whether cosmic samples it was carrying back as part of a six-year, $260 million project had been destroyed. NASA officials believed the fragile disks that held the atoms would shatter even if the capsule hit the ground with a parachute.

    ''There was a big pit in my stomach,'' said physicist Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory, which designed the atom collector plates. ''This just wasn't supposed to happen. We're going to have a lot of work picking up the pieces.''

    Hollywood stunt pilots had taken off in helicopters to hook the parachute, but the refrigerator-sized capsule - holding a set of fragile disks containing billions of atoms collected from solar wind - hit the desert floor without the parachute opening.

    The impact drove the capsule halfway underground. NASA engineers feared the explosive for the parachute might still be alive and ready to fire, keeping helicopter crews at bay.

    ''That presents a safety hazard to recovery crews,'' said Chris Jones, solar system exploration director for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    The copters were supposed to snatch the capsule's parachute with a hook as it floated down at 400 feet a minute, or more than 6 feet per second. But the capsule tumbled out of control. It was supposed to be spinning at 15 revolutions a minute to slice evenly through the atmosphere, but camera images showed it tumbling instead.

    Scientists hoped the capsule's charged atoms - a ''billion billion'' of them - would reveal clues about the origin and evolution of our solar system, said Don Burnett, Genesis principal investigator and a nuclear geochemist at California Institute of Technology.

    ''We have for years wanted to know the composition of the sun,'' Burnett said before the crash. He said scientists had expected to analyze the material ''one atom at a time.''

    Genesis had been moving in tandem with Earth outside its magnetic shield on three orbits of the sun.

    Cliff Fleming, the lead helicopter pilot, and backup pilot Dan Rudert had replicated the retrieval in dozens of practice runs. Fleming and Rudert, stunt pilots by trade, were drafted for the mission because of their expertise flying high and capturing objects. Fleming has swooped after sky surfers in the action movie ''XXX'' and towed actor Pierce Brosnan through the air in ''Dante's Peak.'' He just worked on ''Batman 4.''

    The Genesis mission, launched in 2001, marked the first time NASA has collected any objects from farther than the moon for retrieval to Earth, said Roy Haggard, Genesis' flight operations chief and CEO of Vertigo Inc., which designed the capture system.

    Together, the charged atoms captured over 884 days on the capsule's disks of gold, sapphire, diamond and silicone were no bigger than a few grains of salt, but scientists say that would be enough to reconstruct the chemical origin of the sun and its family of planets.

    Scientists had expected to study the material for five more years.
     

  3. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

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    OK, I just read about it on MSN. It was a NASA mission that was collecting particles from the solar wind onto different disks. They were hoping to find out the true chemical composition of the sun and planets. Just one more reminder for me to never go into space!
     
  4. :D :D :D That's my plan too
     
  5. rockbass

    rockbass Banned

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    Just a reminder to me of why the government gives money to fund this kind of crap. We are never going to know if there really is life out there. I would bet my life that there is some form of life out there somewhere, but nobody will prove it for sure anytime soon. Space is so big, that we never really know if there is or is not life out there. There could be a place just like earth that is doing the same thing that we are. Never know, but I think it is more of a waste than a help.
     
  6. Darwin

    Darwin If your gonna be a bear..

    come on guys, it if wasn't for the space program we would have never known about the daily miracle that is TANG!! :D
     
  7. With over 70 sextillion (60 zeros) stars in the "visible" universe...life on other planets is inevitable. The universe is billions of years old and light from stars on the other side of the universe hasn't reached us yet, and the universe is still growing.

    Just imagine what kind of fishing is out there...:eek: ;) ;)
     
  8. rockbass

    rockbass Banned

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    Man O Man, I forgot about Tang! :p

    Isn't there also a bed out there I see on TV that says they used NASA technology to design. Or something like that??? :confused:

    I am with you froggy. There may be a planet out there that is a mirror image of earth except they have record fish 10 times as big as ours. can you imagine a record flattie over 700 pounds. I think I will now start a fund to help NASA out a little in finding these places. So far the fund now has .05 cents. I think that is enough for a start. Look out distant planets! I am coming with my rod and reel! :cool: :p
     
  9. I know it seems like a waste of money alot of times, but the space program palys a significant role in a lot of scientific experimentation. Many times, science projects cannot be completed except in a vacuum. This is where many medical experiments, like cancer and so forth, take place. Space. The only problem I see with the space program is that it hasn't been fully privatized. If companies could privatize the program, it could conceivably create a lot of jobs. High paying jobs. Something to think about.

    Eric

    Huber, Independent fo President 2008

    "Thank you for your Support!"