Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Genesis Crash Landing

I've just come from watching the live feed from JPL of the Genesis Probe mid-air recovery over Utah. The drogue and main parachutes failed to open and the probe struck the desert at terminal velocity.

Copyright © Reuters TV
Aerial shot showing the Genesis capsule in the Utah desert after it's parachute failed to deploy, this picture taken from NASA video

This was the first sample-return mission for NASA since the Apollo programme in the 1970's. Considering the speed of the impact, over 100 mph, it's likely there will be little of scientific value to recover.

NASA is reporting that there was some concern that the sample return capsule battery would fail, jeopardizing the re-entry, as the battery was overheating.