19 Sep 2002
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Genesis Mission Status Update
With less than two years remaining until Genesis returns its collected sample material to Earth on Sept. 8, 2004, the spacecraft continues collecting solar wind material and operating normally.
Planning for the sample return operations at the U.S. military's Utah Test and Training Range advanced during a meeting at the range near Salt Lake City last week. Participants included Genesis team members from the California Institute of Technology, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA's Johnson Space Center, the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lockheed Martin Astronautics and Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL); and representatives from the Utah Test and Training Range, Hill Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force Space Command. We discussed the release, entry, mid-air recovery and handling of the sample.
On Sept. 2, a software patch was uploaded to the spacecraft to avoid problems from a corrupt bit identified last month in a programmable memory chip in one of the spacecraft's memory modules. Like another bad bit identified seven months earlier in a different chip in the same module, this bit was one that toggles between a high state and a low state before coming to rest in the low state. Without the patch, if we were to have a reset, the "bad" image would be decompressed and loaded.