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Rehearsal for retrieving solar wind samples, USA, 2004.

Rehearsal for retrieving solar wind samples, USA, 2004.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm


A Hollywood stunt pilot and his flight crew practice mid-air retrievals at the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground. Professional stunt pilots flying helicopters with special retrieval equipment rehearse manoevres whereby they will swoop in and swipe the solar wind samples Genesis has collected during its two-and-a-half year solar bath. During the actual event which took place on 8 September 2004, the Genesis sample return capsule's drogue and parafoil did not deploy as planned, and the capsule impacted on the ground in the Utah desert. The capsule itself was designed to survive such a landing, and the samples were found to be intact.

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© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society

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