Performance of the Week

Performance of the Week Sep. 20, 2004

Smashing into the Utah desert at nearly 200 m.p.h. was no way to end a space mission, but that's just what the GENESIS spacecraft did last week. After a three-year flight to collect samples of the solar wind, Genesis was supposed to re-enter the atmosphere, deploy its parachutes and be snagged in midair by a Hollywood helicopter pilot. But the chutes failed to open. NASA scientists believe some samples may nonetheless have survived intact.

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