Spacecraft in space.

Artist's concept of the Genesis spacecraft.

Goals: Genesis' purpose was to observe the solar wind, collect samples of 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.

Solar System News