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Title: Genesis failure investigation report : JPL Failure Review Board, Avionics Sub-Team
Authors: Klein, John
Manning, Rob
Barry, Ed
Donaldson, Jim
Rivellini, Tom
Battel, Steven
Savino, Joe
Lee, Wayne
Dalton, Jerry
Underwood, Mark
Surampudi, Rao
Accord, Arden
Perkins, Dave
Barrow, Kirk
Wilson, Bob
Keywords: Genesis Mission
sample return
failure analysis
solar wind
Issue Date: Jul-2004
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2005
Series/Report no.: JPL Publication
Abstract: On January 7, 2001, the Genesis spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral. Its mission was to collect solar wind samples and return those samples to Earth for detailed analysis by scientists. The mission proceeded successfully for three-and-a-half years. On September 8, 2004, the spacecraft approached Earth, pointed the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) at its entry target, and then fired pyros that jettisoned the SRC. The SRC carried the valuable samples collected over the prior 29 months. The SRC also contained the requisite hardware (mechanisms, parachutes, and electronics) to manage the process of entry, descent, and landing (EDL). After entering Earth's atmosphere, the SRC was expected to open a drogue parachute. This should have been followed by a pyro event to release the drogue chute, and then by a pyro event to deploy the main parachute at an approximate elevation of 6.7 kilometers. As the SRC descended to the Utah landing site, helicopters were in position to capture the SRC before the capsule touched down. On September 8, 2004, observers of the SRC's triumphant return became concerned as the NASA announcer fell silent, and then became even more alarmed as they watched the spacecraft tumble as it streaked across the sky. Long-distance cameras clearly showed that the drogue parachute had not deployed properly. On September 9, 2004, General Eugene Tattini, Deputy Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory formed a Failure Review Board (FRB). This board was charged with investigating the cause of the Genesis mishap in close concert with the NASA Mishap Investigation Board (MIB). The JPL-FRB was populated with experts from within and external to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The JPL-FRB participated with the NASA-MIB through all phases of the investigation, working jointly and concurrently as one team to discover the facts of the mishap.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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