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NASA Genesis Mission Status Update November 26, 2003

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Monday, December 1, 2003

image The Genesis spacecraft continues its mission collecting solar wind material expelled from the Sun. Telemetry from the Genesis spacecraft indicates that all spacecraft subsystems are reporting nominal operation.

There are three collector arrays aboard Genesis that are exposed to, or hidden from, the solar wind. One collector array for each of the three solar wind regimes. Which collector array is exposed is determined by the data received by sensitive ion and electron monitors located on the spacecraft's equipment deck. These monitors scrutinize the solar wind passing by the spacecraft and relay this information to the onboard computer, which in turn commands the collector arrays to deploy and retract as needed. Recent solar activity has called for the "low solar speed" array to be deployed 100% of the time. Also, the E-Array, which handles coronal mass ejections, was unshaded 94% of the time.

Telemetry from the Genesis spacecraft indicates that it is spinning at a rate of 1.6 rotations per minute. The spacecraft's space age "gas gauge" indicates propellant usage totals are about 19.67 kilograms (43.36 pounds).

Genesis Vital Statistics:

  • 833 days since launch.
  • 128 days to planned completion of solar particle collection.
  • 287 days to Genesis return to Earth.

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