[FPSPACE] Fate of Genesis bus
Marc D. Rayman
marc.d.rayman at jpl.nasa.gov
Sun Oct 3 00:46:43 EDT 2004
At 9:14 PM +0200 9/30/04, Paolo Ulivi wrote:
>according to the Genesis launch press kit, the spacecraft bus was to
>be ditched in the Pacific Ocean after releasing the capsule.
>However, I have seen studies indicating that it could be diverted
>and its scientific instruments (two particle monitors) re-used in an
>extended mission either at L1, or switching between L1 and L2 or in
>The Genesis landing press kit does not mention the ditching, an
>article in AWST hints that the bus was to be diverted and I find
>that it is still listed in the JPL's Ephemeris Generator. Does
>anybody know what was its fate?
As I've seen no response to your question, I'll come out of lurkspace
Genesis was diverted past Earth following the release of the Sample
Return Capsule (SRC), and it is in a very high eccentricity orbit,
with an apogee around 1 million km. The maneuver was designed to
accommodate two options: 1) safely dispose of the bus in space if the
SRC separation were successful, or 2) enable a second entry attempt
in March 2005 if the SRC separation were aborted or unsuccessful.
I don't work on Genesis, but the last I heard, the plan was simply to
allow the Sun to pump up the bus' orbital energy, ultimately causing
it to escape into a heliocentric Earth-trailing orbit. Because the
spacecraft has more delta-v capability now than when it was launched
(the reduction in mass by releasing the SRC more than compensates for
the propellant expended during the mission), alternatives were being
considered that might involve other substantial changes to its orbit.
As I understand it, possible uses for the spacecraft include solar
wind science (as you point out) and astrodynamics tests.
Back to lurking...
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