Back in 2001, NASA launched a mission named Genesis toward the sun to collect solar particles streaming from our star and return them to Earth. Genesis arrived back on Earth right on time in 2004, but all didn't go according to plan. When Genesis's parachute failed, the spacecraft crash landed in Utah, spilling it's contents across the ground.
Like no other modern endeavor, the space program inspires all mankind by pushing the edge of the possible. At least, when it works it does. Often, the casual integration of satellite technology into nearly all modern electronics combines with imagery of brave astronauts going forth for all mankind to obscure the basic fact that sending something into space is damn hard, and often fails.
So, inspired by the recent loss of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite, Popsci.com is taking a look back at the Top 10 missions that didn't slip the surly bonds of Earth, failed to trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, and most certainly did not touch the face of God.
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The world has turned upside-down. The US government is the hottest ticket on Wall Street, Cadillac builds European sports sedans, Saab markets SUVs, and now Hyundai makes a $42,000 luxury car. Someone e-mail the Bizarro Justice League, stat.
The 2009 Hyundai Genesis has been a long time coming for the South Korean automaker. Years ago, Hyundai introduced to the American market an ignoble range of economy cars that, unadjusted for inflation, cost the equivalent of pocket lint. It's a different company now. To mangle a Pink Floyd lyric, 20 odd years may have gotten behind Hyundai Motor America, but it didn't miss the starting gun.
Scientists turn their attention to another incoming spacecraft.
By William Speed WeedPosted 11.13.2004 at 5:00 pm 0 Comments
It was supposed to end with a smashing movie stunt; instead it ended with a smash. The parachute that was to be grabbed by helicopter pilots on September 8 never opened, and the Genesis return capsule, loaded with solar particles, plunged into the Utah desert. A report from the NASA Mishap Investigation Board due out this month should explain why the spacecraft’s control system failed to deploy the chutes.
Will NASA’s exotic shipment from space land safely?
By William Speed WeedPosted 10.27.2004 at 6:00 pm 0 Comments
On September 8, a 420-pound capsule will plunge meteorlike into the upper atmosphere at more than 6 miles a second. A large parachute will then slow it down to a gentle 10 miles an hour. Finally, to keep the delicate ceramic plates securing the 10-microgram cargo inside from breaking on landing, a helicopter flown by Hollywood stunt pilots will hook the craft midair by its parafoil and lower it gently to the desert floor in Utah.