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  Backup Orbit

Throughout the recovery phase, the Genesis team would closely evaluate the spacecraft's re-entry trajectory. If at any point navigators and mission planners felt the spacecraft and/or its sample return capsule would not achieve required entry targeting specifications, they can go to “plan B” — a backup orbit. Navigators have designed a secondary plan that would place the spacecraft and its capsule in a six-month backup orbit around Earth. If required, the maneuver to place the spacecraft and the sample return capsule in this temporary orbit would take place at entry minus 3.5 hours.

This backup orbit allows for a secondary entry opportunity to take place at the same location over the Utah Test & Training Range on March 17, 2005, at 2:40 p.m. MDT. button
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Curator: Aimee Meyer
Updated: November 2009

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