Friday, April 22, 2005

NASA's Crashed Saucer Reveals It's Secrets

Genesis Spacecraft crash

Here comes the sun: Sol's dust salvaged

Scientists cull solar particles from Lockheedbuilt Genesis, which crashed in the Utah desert.

By Katy Human
Denver Post Staff Writer

      Scientists have recovered precious bits of solar wind from a Colorado-built spacecraft that crashed in the Utah desert last year, information they expect will help them understand the solar system's birth.

     Genesis, a $264 million NASA craft built by Lockheed Martin in Jefferson County, traveled three years and 1.86 million miles to bring solar dust back to Earth.

     NASA had repeatedly said scientists should be able to glean information from the spacecraft's smashed wafers, which collected particles blown off the sun's surface.

     Seven months after the September crash, they've done it, Roger Wiens, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said Wednesday.

     "Several analyses now have shown that we have the solar wind we were looking for," said Wiens, who has been closely involved in NASA's Genesis mission.

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