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jamescanvin
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
ljk4-1
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
Jeff7
Why'd they skip it? Increase profit margins a bit? Don't they make enough from their numerous government contracts already?
The Messenger
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?
tty
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
ljk4-1
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
BruceMoomaw
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.
Jeff7
Mission do-over time? blink.gif
The Messenger
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
BruceMoomaw
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.
Jeff7
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.
ljk4-1
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?
djellison
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
gpurcell
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.
The Messenger
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?
dvandorn
Seems to me the best way to get the solar wind oxygen isotope data we'd like to have would be to piggy-back such a collector on some other dust-collection mission. For example, if we flew a comet rendezvous with sample return significantly *inside* Earth's orbit, you could piggyback a set of Genesis-style collectors into the return package and collect this additional dataset.

-the other Doug
JTN
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Mar 16 2006, 06:57 AM) *
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.
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. [...]

No chance that the "staining" occurred late enough, and thick enough, to seal in some of the samples safe from Utahn contamination? wink.gif
Bob Shaw
QUOTE (dvandorn @ Mar 16 2006, 11:39 PM) *
Seems to me the best way to get the solar wind oxygen isotope data we'd like to have would be to piggy-back such a collector on some other dust-collection mission. For example, if we flew a comet rendezvous with sample return significantly *inside* Earth's orbit, you could piggyback a set of Genesis-style collectors into the return package and collect this additional dataset.

-the other Doug


oDoug:

Would it be safe to go past a comet at any speed if it was inside the Earth's orbit? I doubt it! And the delta-V requirements for an actual rendezvous could be pretty near impossible, too - the things belt along once in the inner solar system. Oh, and then there's the planning - would we be restricted to well-known, possibly rather inactive, short-period comets?

Far better to run a Genesis mission on the back of a Mars atmosphere sample return flight, or an Enceladus sample flight!

Bob Shaw
ljk4-1
The BBC seems to think that Genesis samples will survive:

"Researchers are confident at least 100,000 atoms from the Sun survived,
uncontaminated, the Genesis probe's crash landing return to Earth."

Comets are often described as the icy wanderers of the Solar System's cold outer
fringes. But analysis of the first comet samples brought back to Earth suggests
comets are made in very hot regions.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4801968.stm

Meanwhile there's good news from another probe that ventured far from Earth to
bring samples home. You may remember the Genesis solar probe crash landed in
2004 after both its parachutes failed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3638926.stm

Genesis had spent two years gathering up the particles that form the solar wind
but half were lost during the 310km/h impact. US scientists have just gone
public with early results from the half that survived.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4810024.stm

For some Solar System basics, consult the Science & Nature travel guide:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/solarsystem/
The Messenger
QUOTE (JTN @ Mar 16 2006, 06:11 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. [...]
No chance that the "staining" occurred late enough, and thick enough, to seal in some of the samples safe from Utahn contamination? wink.gif

In this respect, the west desert was an ugly choice - A dried up lake bed, with everything imaginable in the silt.

A couple of decades ago, the Great Salt Lake rose so high it was starting to spill onto the airport. They put a bunch of super-turbo pumps in, and pumped the water out on to the west desert to evaporate. The lake was so diluted, the salt content was low enough that bacteria became active in the lake, dexomposing centuries of pickled organics, and the lake stench was overwhelming.

I don't think that they pumped into the area where Gemini splatted, but that desert is not a place that you want to go bushwacking.
Bob Shaw
Interesting information regarding the long-term future of the spacecraft, from the Genesis website: http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/solo.html

"Genesis Spacecraft Bus Flies Solo
While NASA scientists continue to examine the Genesis sample return capsule at NASA's Johnson Space Center, the spacecraft itself continues on its flight. After releasing the sample return capsule on Sept. 8, 2004, the spacecraft bus now heads back toward the vicinity of the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point (L1), a point just under 1 million miles away from Earth toward the Sun, where gravitational and centrifugal forces acting on the spacecraft are balanced. All of the spacecraft systems are operational including the solar wind monitors (although currently turned off). On its current trajectory, the spacecraft will leave L1 in February 2005, entering an orbit around the Sun. Since this orbit is just inside the Earth's orbit, Genesis will gradually pull ahead of the Earth, steadily increasing its distance from Earth in the coming years. NASA is currently considering an extended mission, which would keep the spacecraft in the Earth-Moon system for the next several years. The Genesis spacecraft completed a trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) on Nov. 6, as the spacecraft made its closest approach by our planet since the release of the sample return capsule. This TCM ensured that the bus could escape from the Earth and Moon system if an extended mission is not approved."

Bob Shaw
tty
QUOTE (The Messenger @ Mar 17 2006, 07:24 PM) *
In this respect, the west desert was an ugly choice - A dried up lake bed, with everything imaginable in the silt.

A couple of decades ago, the Great Salt Lake rose so high it was starting to spill onto the airport. They put a bunch of super-turbo pumps in, and pumped the water out on to the west desert to evaporate. The lake was so diluted, the salt content was low enough that bacteria became active in the lake, dexomposing centuries of pickled organics, and the lake stench was overwhelming.

I don't think that they pumped into the area where Gemini splatted, but that desert is not a place that you want to go bushwacking.


That whole desert is old seabottom from Lake Bonneville, so I don't think some extra water a few decades ago can have made much difference. In any case I don't see that a different choice of landing area would have made much difference contamination-wise, except possibly inland East Antarctica.

tty
ljk4-1
Faulty Design Caused Genesis Mishap

Washington DC (SPX) Jun 14, 2006

NASA announced Tuesday that a flaw in the design of its Genesis spacecraft's sample-return capsule caused it to crash in the Utah desert in 2004. That is the conclusion of the agency's Genesis Mission Mishap Investigation Board, convened on Sept. 10, 2004 - two days after the accident. NASA has released the board's final report.

http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Faulty_De...sis_Mishap.html
The Messenger
Just as I suspected...it takes at least two years for information to get from Utah to Washington...and even longer to return blink.gif
ljk4-1
Genesis Landing Site Monument Installation

On the morning of September 6, 2006 team members of the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) hosted a dedication ceremony in honor of the two-year anniversary of the Genesis science capsule return.

A permanent monument was installed commemorating the significance of solar wind samples returned to Earth. Within the obelisk-shaped monument, a time capsule containing print and media features that characterize the mission from inception to present day was installed.

The monument and time capsule were made possible through private donations. The monument is placed on the exact spot of the capsule’s Earth return.

Viewed online at: http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov/science/mon_dedic.html
The Messenger
Pinning a military metal on a crash site?
djellison
Or simply marking the site of the first sample return mission in three decades. Crash or no crash, it's doing good science. Nothing wrong with that.

Doug
Jeff7
Would it be truly ironic if the next sample return mission's parachute opens perfectly, only to partially impale itself on this monument?
SigurRosFan
Interesting news article:

- Solar wind particles solve lunar mystery

-----
Trace chemicals ejected from the Sun and collected by NASA’s Genesis mission have solved a long-standing lunar mystery ...
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