National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
Genesis
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Search all Missions Between:      and      Search
1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 2010-2019 2020+
Genesis
Genesis Mission to Our Solar System

Goals: Genesis' purpose is to observe the solar wind, entrap its particles and return them to Earth.

Accomplishments: For more than two years, Genesis collected samples of the solar wind -- a stream of charged particles from the sun -- about 1.5 million km (1 million miles) from Earth, a point where the Earth and sun's gravities are balanced. The zone is called the Lagrange 1 point. Despite a hard landing in the Utah desert, the Genesis samples were recovered from its capsule. The samples are being studied in a special lab at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas.


Key Dates
8 Aug 2001:  Launch (16:13:40 UTC)
21 Oct 2001 - 2 Apr 2004:  Sample Collection
8 Sep 2004:  Samples Return to Earth
8 Sep 2006:  Samples Under Study
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Genesis Facts Genesis collected about 0.4 milligrams - equal only to a few grains of salt - of the solar wind.

The spacecraft collected solar wind for 884 days.

The samples were the first extraterrestrial materials brought to Earth since the Apollo Moon missions.

The samples were the first extraterrestrial materials brought to Earth since the Apollo Moon missions.

Although the parchute and parafoil failed to deploy for safe retreival on Earth, scientists were able to collect samples from the Genesis sample-return capsule.

Hexigonal shaped materials collected the particles from the solar wind.

Genesis was the first mission in the present millennium to return with a package of extraterrestrial material.
Science & Technology Features
Headlines
Links
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 4 Dec 2012