Press Release

Launch of Sunbathing Spacecraft to be Webcast

By SpaceRef Editor
July 25, 2001
Filed under , ,

Web viewers can watch NASA’s Genesis mission, set to
catch a piece of the Sun and return it to Earth, launch July
30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida.

The Internet event, lasting two and a half hours, will
begin at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) at

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/webcast/genesis_launch/ .

Genesis will capture a piece of the Sun — a sample of
the ions and elements in the solar wind — and bring the
samples back to Earth so that scientists can study the exact
composition of the Sun and probe the solar system’s origin. By
studying the solar wind, scientists hope to find clues about
the formation of the solar system as we know it today. The
Genesis mission is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the spacecraft was built by
Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colo.

In 2004, samples collected by Genesis will return to
Earth in a spectacular helicopter capture. Specially trained
helicopter pilots will catch the sample return capsule as it
parachutes to the ground at Utah’s Air Force Test and Training
Range. The samples will then be analyzed to provide a
“Rosetta Stone” of solar material for comparing the Sun’s
original ingredients to those of the planets and other solar
system bodies. Information on the mission is available at
http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov/ .

Genesis is part of NASA’s Discovery Program of
competitively selected, low-cost solar system exploration
missions with highly focused science goals. Chester Sasaki of
JPL is project manager, and Dr. Donald Burnett of the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena is the
principal investigator. JPL is a division of Caltech.

SpaceRef staff editor.