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Genesis News
jamescanvin
post Apr 21 2005, 12:58 AM
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Good news!

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2005/apr/H...collectors.html

RELEASE: 05-102

NASA Announces Key Genesis Science Collectors In Excellent Shape

Scientists have closely examined four Genesis spacecraft collectors, vital to the mission's top science objective, and found them in excellent shape, despite the spacecraft's hard landing last year.

Scientists at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston removed the four solar-wind collectors from an instrument called the concentrator. The concentrator targets collected solar-oxygen ions during the Genesis mission. Scientists will analyze them to measure solar-oxygen isotopic composition, the highest-priority measurement objective for Genesis. The data may hold clues to increase understanding about how the solar system formed.

"Taking these concentrator targets out of their flight holders and getting our first visual inspection of them is very important," said Karen McNamara, Genesis curation recovery lead. "This step is critical to moving forward with the primary science Genesis was intended to achieve. All indications are the targets are in excellent condition. Now we will have the opportunity to show that quantitatively. The preliminary assessment of these materials is the first step to their allocation and measurement of the composition of the solar wind," she said.

The targets were removed at JSC by a team from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M., where the concentrator was designed and built.

"Finding these concentrator targets in excellent condition after the Genesis crash was a real miracle," said Roger Wiens, principal investigator for the Los Alamos instruments. "It raised our spirits a huge amount the day after the impact. With the removal of the concentrator targets this week, we are getting closer to learning what these targets will tell us about the sun and our solar system," he added.

The Los Alamos team was assisted by JSC curators and Quality Assurance personnel from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Curators at JSC will examine the targets and prepare a detailed report about their condition, so scientists can properly analyze the collectors. The targets will be imaged in detail and then stored under nitrogen in the Genesis clean room.

Genesis was launched Aug. 8, 2001, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on a mission to collect solar wind particles. Sample collection began Dec. 5, 2001, and was completed April 1, 2004. After an extensive recovery effort, following its Sept. 8, 2004, impact at a Utah landing site, the first scientific samples from Genesis arrived at JSC Oct. 4, 2004.

Still imagery of scientists removing the concentrator targets is available at:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/genesis/...eam_images.html

Video to accompany this release will air on the NASA TV Video File at 3 p.m. EDT today. NASA TV is available on the Web and via satellite in the continental U.S. on AMC-6, Transponder 9C, C-Band, at 72 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. It's available in Alaska and Hawaii on AMC-7, Transponder 18C, C-Band, at 137 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 4060.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz.

For more information about the Genesis mission on the Web, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/genesis


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ljk4-1
post Jan 10 2006, 05:26 PM
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Lockheed rapped for skipping Genesis test

By Jim Erickson, Rocky Mountain News

January 6, 2006

Lockheed Martin failed to do a critical prelaunch test that would have uncovered the flaw that doomed NASA's $264 million Genesis capsule, investigators have concluded.

The test would have revealed that four tiny switches designed to trigger the release of the Denver-built capsule's parachutes were installed backward.

The installation error, combined with the omitted test, sealed the fate of the blunt-nosed capsule, said Michael Ryschkewitsch, chairman of the Genesis Mishap Investigation Board.

Because its parachutes failed to deploy, the Genesis capsule slammed into the Utah salt flats at 193 mph on Sept. 8, 2004.

Its scientific cargo - silicon wafers etched with billions of microscopic pieces of the sun's atmosphere - shattered.

"Clearly there was an error made, and there were some shortfalls in processes that you would hope would catch it," Ryschkewitsch said in an interview Thursday. "The safety nets were not there."

The board's 150-page final report is expected to be released this month, said Ryschkewitsch, deputy director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/loca...4367316,00.html


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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Jeff7
post Jan 10 2006, 11:17 PM
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Why'd they skip it? Increase profit margins a bit? Don't they make enough from their numerous government contracts already?
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The Messenger
post Jan 14 2006, 07:18 PM
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QUOTE (Jeff7 @ Jan 10 2006, 04:17 PM)
Why'd they skip it? Increase profit margins a bit? Don't they make enough from their numerous government contracts already?
*

When they ask Charles Lindberg why he chose a single engine craft to cross the atlantic, he replied that it was half as likely to fail as two.

In the studies after the first shuttle exploded, it was noted that the two Orings actually shared an identical failure mode with the same causality (Very low temperature during the initial launch pulse stress.)

In my opinion, the real failure was in the design: Four identical sensors!!!! Just like the Orings in Columbia, they all shared the same failure modes, and if that failure would have been due to temperature, a surge voltage or the result of aging of an internal component, the results would have been the same.

We have great expectations for the Stardust mission, because even though the same sensors were used, they were tested and we know they were installed correctly. Let's hope that they do not share another common failure mode.

I think the history of rocketry failures should be required reading for every engineer and designer in the aerospace industry. I think Failure reports shoulc be candid and complete, easy find and easy to understand. Which reminds me, where is the results of the investigation as to why channel A was not properly coded to receive data in the Huygens mission? Why is the New Horizons probe being launched without that knowledge?
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tty
post Jan 14 2006, 08:57 PM
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QUOTE (The Messenger @ Jan 14 2006, 09:18 PM)
When they ask Charles Lindberg why he chose a single engine craft to cross the atlantic, he replied that it was half as likely to fail as two.

In the studies after the first shuttle exploded, it was noted that the two Orings actually shared an identical failure mode with the same causality (Very low temperature during the initial launch pulse stress.)

In my opinion, the real failure was in the design: Four identical sensors!!!! Just like the Orings in Columbia, they all shared the same failure modes, and if that failure would have been due to temperature, a surge voltage or the result of aging of an internal component, the results would have been the same.

We have great expectations for the Stardust mission, because even though the same sensors were used, they were tested and we know they were installed correctly. Let's hope that they do not share another common failure mode.

I think the history of rocketry failures should be required reading for every engineer and designer in the aerospace industry.  I think Failure reports shoulc be candid and complete, easy find and easy to understand. Which reminds me, where is the results of the investigation as to why channel A was not properly coded to receive data in the Huygens mission? Why is the New Horizons probe being launched without that knowledge?
*


"Common failure mode" is the reason that even the largest aircraft never have more than fourfold redundancy. Experience have shown that any failure that takes out four redundant systems will take out any number.

I strongly agree that detailed, objective and public failure reports are one of the best ways to improve safety in almost any technical field. Reading such reports is incidentally also one of the best ways to get a deeper understanding of the field in question.

Another important element is an incident reporting system that is aimed at identifying and correcting problems not to find scapegoats or generate legal fees. If this requires giving the whistle blower legal immunity, so be it.

tty
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ljk4-1
post Mar 15 2006, 07:38 PM
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Crashed Genesis probe delivers solar wind

13:07 15 March 2006

NewScientist.com news service

Maggie McKee

Solar wind ions salvaged from NASA's crashed Genesis space capsule could yet help trace the primordial composition of the solar system, fulfilling the mission's main goal, the mission's first scientific results suggest.

But the task will not be easy more than half of the samples appear too damaged to be useful and the remaining ones are chemically contaminated from the crash.

http://www.newscientistspace.com/article/d...solar-wind.html


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Mar 15 2006, 10:33 PM
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The LPSC abstracts make it clear that they would have had a serious problem even without the crash -- the collector surfaces are all coated with something which Don Burnett says is "affectionately known as the brown stain" which seems to be due to "UV polymerization of off-gassed condensate on the collectors" -- and which is tough as the devil to scrub off without removing the solar-wind samples as well:
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2006/pdf/1611.pdf
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2006/pdf/1848.pdf

I doubt that they really feel that affectionate about it. It appears that the only thing that can remove it is "oxygen plasma or UV ozone" -- which seems likely to me to further foul up their measurements of solar oxygen isotopes, which was by a substantial margin the mission's most important goal, and which has already been screwed up by the crash contamination.
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Jeff7
post Mar 15 2006, 10:56 PM
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Mission do-over time? blink.gif
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The Messenger
post Mar 16 2006, 03:35 AM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Mar 15 2006, 03:33 PM) *
The LPSC abstracts make it clear that they would have had a serious problem even without the crash -- the collector surfaces are all coated with something which Don Burnett says is "affectionately known as the brown stain" which seems to be due to "UV polymerization of off-gassed condensate on the collectors" -- and which is tough as the devil to scrub off without removing the solar-wind samples as well:
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2006/pdf/1611.pdf
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2006/pdf/1848.pdf

I doubt that they really feel that affectionate about it. It appears that the only thing that can remove it is "oxygen plasma or UV ozone" -- which seems likely to me to further foul up their measurements of solar oxygen isotopes, which was by a substantial margin the mission's most important goal, and which has already been screwed up by the crash contamination.

There seems to be confusion, between the Newscience article, and Bruce's references, about when the 'brown staining' occurred - during the mission or after the landing. Also the source is unclear: Off-gassing from what?

I am tempted to say, when Genisis realized the parashute didn't open, but then nobody would take me serious unsure.gif
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Mar 16 2006, 06:57 AM
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QUOTE (The Messenger @ Mar 16 2006, 03:35 AM) *
There seems to be confusion, between the Newscience article, and Bruce's references, about when the 'brown staining' occurred - during the mission or after the landing. Also the source is unclear: Off-gassing from what?

I am tempted to say, when Genesis realized the parachute didn't open -- but then nobody would take me seriously...



It definitely occurred while Genesis was still in space. You'll recall that, right at the start of the mission, the sample-return capsule's battery showed some signs of overheating. It was soon decided that this was because some of the craft's external components were outgassing a coating of dark fluorosilicates onto the battery's radiator. Sure enough, the same thing happened -- to a lesser, but still important degree -- to the collector surfaces themselves.

Solar scientists are now in a very awkward spot. It begins to look as though the science results from Genesis will be about as bad as they can be WITHOUT being quite bad enough to justify the high cost of a reflight. It will, I suspect, now be a long time before we finally have that much-wanted data on solar oxygen isotopic ratios.
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Jeff7
post Mar 16 2006, 07:44 AM
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Well on the plus side, if they do need a do-over, at least the spacecraft has already been designed, which is likely a large part of the budget. Building another one, while still sort of expensive, might wind up being cheaper than paying scientists and technicians to try to sift through material that's been contaminated twice, giving results that still might be questionable.
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ljk4-1
post Mar 16 2006, 12:49 PM
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So what did Genesis do wrong with their aerogel collector
that Stardust did right (please don't say they didn't crash),
and how can this be applied to collecting Enceladus geyser
material should that mission even get beyond the talking
stage?


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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djellison
post Mar 16 2006, 12:52 PM
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Well - Genesis didn't use Aerogel for starters - it just used arrays of different materials ( silicon, aluminium, saphire I think at some point - all sorts of things - check the Genesis website for more info)

Doug
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gpurcell
post Mar 16 2006, 01:39 PM
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QUOTE (Jeff7 @ Mar 15 2006, 10:56 PM) *
Mission do-over time? blink.gif



I don't think so. There was already kvetching that the science on Genesis really wasn't all that to begin with, as I recall.
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The Messenger
post Mar 16 2006, 02:37 PM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Mar 15 2006, 11:57 PM) *
It definitely occurred while Genesis was still in space. You'll recall that, right at the start of the mission, the sample-return capsule's battery showed some signs of overheating. It was soon decided that this was because some of the craft's external components were outgassing a coating of dark fluorosilicates onto the battery's radiator. Sure enough, the same thing happened -- to a lesser, but still important degree -- to the collector surfaces themselves.

Solar scientists are now in a very awkward spot. It begins to look as though the science results from Genesis will be about as bad as they can be WITHOUT being quite bad enough to justify the high cost of a reflight. It will, I suspect, now be a long time before we finally have that much-wanted data on solar oxygen isotopic ratios.


From this thread's first post:

QUOTE
"Finding these concentrator targets in excellent condition after the Genesis crash was a real miracle," said Roger Wiens, principal investigator for the Los Alamos instruments. "It raised our spirits a huge amount the day after the impact. With the removal of the concentrator targets this week, we are getting closer to learning what these targets will tell us about the sun and our solar system," he added.


Would that be "in excellent shape, except for the brown stain"? Sorry, but I think we were sandbagged on this - they must have known by April 2005 the samples were badly tainted, but they issued an upbeat and optomistic press release. I'm really tired of propaganda being propped up and called science. Where is Wien's credibility? Why, did it take 10 months to go public with the truth? Where are the descent profiles of the MER craft?
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