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Solar System Exploration
Mid-Air Capture
Mid-Air Capture (click to enlarge)

Mid-Air Capture

A specially modified helicopter with a boom and winch underneath snags the parafoil chute attached to a model Genesis sample return capsule. The hook on the end of the boom collapses the chute, allowing the helicopter to retrieve the capsule in mid-air.

This photo was taken during successful trials of this novel capsule recovery technology.

Genesis returned its solar wind samples to Earth on Sept. 8, 2004.

Image Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Credit: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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Last Updated: 20 Jan 2011