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Genesis space probe recovery (incl video)

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Genesis space probe recovery (incl video)

Old 20th Aug 2004, 01:20
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Genesis space probe recovery question

Found this Pic

Question is: does anyone know what procedure they use to recapture the schute as by looking at the hook up rig it looks quite short!

Just curious!

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Old 20th Aug 2004, 16:02
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Genesis Trailer
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Old 21st Aug 2004, 04:09
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That catch is actually the same as the old MARS (Mid Air Retrieval System) first used by the USAF and Navy to catch drones, and later by a USAF unit to catch payloads (spy film?) from Satellites back in the early 1970's!

The MARS was perfected by a pair of Sikorsky test pilots who have since retired, it was done on H-3 and H-53 helicopters. It fell from popularity when the downlinks and data rates allowed electronic picture transmittal.




The procedure that was used back then was to set a fixed speed, usually about 120 knots, and then line up on the chute with a rate of descent to match the object. Then just maintain the closure with the chute, keeping a constant aspect to it, just like a normal approach, and fly right into it, passing just over it so the trapeze snags the chute.

The biggest challenge related to me was to get the lineup from the radar controllers so the maneuver needed was within the realm of reality for the helo. For satellite payloads, the chute was small and almost invisible, so it was said to be expecially difficult. A USAF Special Operations squadron in Hawii was said to have the job of catching satellite films back in the mid 1970's. It was light duty for the group of combat veterans who thought Hawii was a bit better duty than night missions on the Ho Chi Min trail.

I believe one accident occurred in a MARS Navy H-3, where the chute became entangled in the tail rotor (!) I dimmly recall an Approach magazine article where the co-pilot made it out with a parachute, having been pinned against the sponson for several harrowing rotations of the falling wreckage, his visor completely blurred by the spraying oil from the wreckage.

Last edited by NickLappos; 21st Aug 2004 at 13:32.
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Old 7th Sep 2004, 07:32
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Helicopter pilots nervous to collect floating NASA capsule
Monday, Sept 6, 2004

In a harrowing feat high over the Utah desert Wednesday, two helicopter stunt pilots will try to snatch a floating space capsule that holds "a piece of the sun" and bring it safely down.

Their biggest fear: What if they flub it on live TV?

And that's entirely possible. The pilots rate it an 8 or 9 on a difficulty scale of 10.

"It's like flying in formation with a giant floating jellyfish," pilot Dan Rudert said.

The stuntmen will be trying to hook the 400-pound Genesis capsule as it hurtles 400 feet a minute. Inside it are fragile solar wind particles - so small they're invisible - which scientists say they hope will reveal clues about the origin of our solar system.

The biggest challenge, the pilots say, will be flying at 40 mph nearly a mile above the desert without any visual reference points to judge distance or speed as they close in to hook the capsule.

The helicopter pilots will have five chances to snag the capsule in midair. Military pilots were unavailable for a mission that required them to commit to a task six years in the future. The civilian pilots have replicated the retrieval without fumbles in dozens of practice runs but said they are terrified of failing as NASA television broadcasts a worldwide feed of the retrieval.

The Genesis mission marks the first time that NASA has collected and returned any objects from farther than the moon, said Roy Haggard, the flight-operations chief of Genesis and CEO of Vertigo Inc., which designed the capture system.

Together, the charged atoms captured on the capsule's disks of gold, sapphire, diamond and silicone are no bigger than a few grains of salt, but scientists say that it's enough to reconstruct the chemical origin of the sun and its family of planets.

Click here >>> for video of one of the pilots describing the practice runs.

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Old 8th Sep 2004, 16:35
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Live Streaming of the recovery

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Old 8th Sep 2004, 17:08
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Thumbs up

It's too bad the parachutes didn't deply as expected.
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Old 8th Sep 2004, 17:29
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but im sure they had fun practising
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Old 8th Sep 2004, 19:31
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Methinks Nylon Chutes melted by flying like "Icarus" too close to the Sun.

still they can try again soon,.. er can't they?

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Old 8th Sep 2004, 19:54
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NASA website
Genesis Sample Return Capsule Hits the Ground
- The Genesis sample return capsule's drogue and parafoil did not deploy as expected. The image shows the capsule where it has landed on the ground. The recovery team is currently analyzing and assessing the condition of the sample return capsule.

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Old 8th Sep 2004, 22:21
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I suppose they could try again...

Another $215 million and 3 years later...
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Old 8th Sep 2004, 22:52
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There seems to be only one thing to say....and this is it.
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Old 10th Sep 2004, 01:00
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Now if that was on the Simpson's the chute would have deployed just after it hit the ground
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Old 10th Sep 2004, 01:54
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I can't beleive it. Surely a real Hollywood stunt pilot would have been good enough to snare the capsule even without the parachute. Bruce Willis would have hung onto the skid with one arm and caught it like a rugby ball as it sailed past. These blokes are just soft!
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Old 11th Sep 2004, 08:15
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Or, as my 4 1/2 year old said while watching the TV footage of the impact :

"Shiiit" . . .
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 15:59
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Kind of similar to what every one involved said then too?!
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