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The Genesis Discovery Mission: Return of Solar Matter to Earth

Burnett, D. S. and Barraclough, B. L. and Bennett, R. and Neugebauer, M. and Oldham, L. P. and Sasaki, C. N. and Sevilla, D. and Smith, N. and Stansbery, E. and Sweetnam, D. and Wiens, R. C. (2003) The Genesis Discovery Mission: Return of Solar Matter to Earth. Space Science Reviews, 105 (3-4). pp. 509-534. ISSN 0038-6308. doi:10.1023/A:1024425810605.

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The Genesis Discovery mission will return samples of solar matter for analysis of isotopic and elemental compositions in terrestrial laboratories. This is accomplished by exposing ultra-pure materials to the solar wind at the L1 Lagrangian point and returning the materials to Earth. Solar wind collection will continue until April 2004 with Earth return in Sept. 2004. The general science objectives of Genesis are to ( 1) to obtain solar isotopic abundances to the level of precision required for the interpretation of planetary science data, ( 2) to significantly improve knowledge of solar elemental abundances, ( 3) to measure the composition of the different solar wind regimes, and ( 4) to provide a reservoir of solar matter to serve the needs of planetary science in the 21st century. The Genesis flight system is a sun-pointed spinner, consisting of a spacecraft deck and a sample return capsule ( SRC). The SRC houses a canister which contains the collector materials. The lid of the SRC and a cover to the canister were opened to begin solar wind collection on November 30, 2001. To obtain samples of O and N ions of higher fluence relative to background levels in the target materials, an electrostatic mirror ('concentrator') is used which focuses the incoming ions over a diameter of about 20 cm onto a 6 cm diameter set of target materials. Solar wind electron and ion monitors ( electrostatic analyzers) determine the solar wind regime present at the spacecraft and control the deployment of separate arrays of collector materials to provide the independent regime samples.

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Burnett, D. S.0000-0001-9521-8675
Wiens, R. C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Additional Information:© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Received 25 March 2002; Accepted in final form 26 August 2002. The authors of this overview obviously only represent a small fraction of the skillful and dedicated technical staff from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Johnson Space Center, and Los Alamos National Laboratory who co-operated to make the Genesis mission a success. We gratefully acknowledge the support of this team. We also acknowledge the support and oversight provided by upper management at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin Astronautics and NASA Headquarters.
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Lockheed Martin AstronauticsUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:3-4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150506-152449868
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Official Citation:Burnett, D. S., Barraclough, B. L., Bennett, R., Neugebauer, M., Oldham, L. P., Sasaki, C. N., . . . Wiens, R. C. (2003). The Genesis Discovery Mission: Return of Solar Matter to Earth. Space Science Reviews, 105(3-4), 509-534. doi: 10.1023/a:1024425810605
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57296
Deposited On:06 May 2015 23:29
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:10

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