Wham. Ouch. The Genesis space probe, designed to hover in space at a La Grange Point to collect solar wind samples and return them to Earth via stunt-helicopter-grab, failed to open its parachute on descent, and slammed into Earth at over 100 MPH. One wonders whether JPL/NASA could have opted for some less risky, somewhat less spectacular mode of retrieval, say, via shuttle in orbit. Unfortunately, between the loss of Columbia and VAB hurricane damage, it doesn’t look like the shuttles will be in orbit anytime soon. Hopefully the probe’s capture plates survived mostly intact and enclosed.
- Official Genesis Mission page.
- Slashdot discussion.
- Windows Media video of the crash, via Yahoo News.
- Quicktime video from JPL.
(Title quote from Star Trek III.)