Status Report

NASA Genesis Spacecraft Homeward Bound

By SpaceRef Editor
August 31, 2004
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NASA Genesis Spacecraft Homeward Bound

Days to Earth Return: 7 days

Where is the Genesis Spacecraft Now?

View the simulated position of the Genesis spacecraft. Most images are updated every 10 minutes.

NASA Mission Returns with a Piece of the Sun

In a dramatic ending that marks a beginning in scientific research, NASA’s Genesis spacecraft is set to swing by Earth and jettison a sample return capsule filled with particles of the Sun that may ultimately tell us more about the genesis of our Solar System.

“The Genesis mission — to capture a piece of the Sun and return it to Earth — is truly in the NASA spirit: a bold, inspiring mission that makes a fundamental contribution to scientific knowledge,” said Steven Brody, NASA’s program executive for the Genesis mission, NASA Headquarters, Washington.

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Where Will You Watch the Event?

Lots of people and places around the country are hosting mission sample return events. In Pittsburgh, it’s the Carnegie Science Center; the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will host a viewing event; in Salt Lake City, Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah campus is the place to go:  There are many more events happening around the country. Check with your local planetarium, museum, or science center to see what they may have planned.

If you can’t attend a public event, viewing the mid-air capture via a television with NASA TV programming is a good choice. You can also watch the event over the World Wide Web. NASA maintains a listing of online sites that carry a NASA TV feed: 

Capture a Teachable Moment

The recently released mini-module,Genesis Sample Return: Catching a Piece of the Sun, enables educators to tap into a teachable moment in September and kick off the school year with the excitement of Genesis’ mid-air capture. Providing a real-world context for learning technological design and physical science concepts, this mini-module is aligned to middle school standards; however, the activities can be adapted to the elementary and high school classroom as well. Student activities and accompanying teacher guides are available at:

The Countdown Continues: Downlink install…Cockpit cameras…Helicopters Waiting…
Images in our online gallery show the Genesis team preparing for the September 8 mid-air capture at:


Is the sample safe to bring to Earth? What if it doesn’t land on target? What if it lands and you can’t find it?You can find the answers to these questions in our Frequently Asked Questions section on the Genesis Web site at:


Hear it from the Pilot’s Mouth

The Genesis Multimedia Online page has lots of great items for visitor interaction. One of them is a video clip of helicopter pilot Dan Rudert as he describes the practice runs for the Genesis mid-air retrieval. After viewing Dan, you can practice suiting up for the cleanroom in an online interactive. More video clips and a children’s storybook at:

SpaceRef staff editor.