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NASA established a discovery mission named Genesis in 2001 that targeted the sun. Astronomy experts within NASA launched it in August 8, 2001. However, the mission is still ongoing since samples are under study. This spacecraft revolved around the sun and earth for four years collecting particles of solar wind.
The spacecraft entered the earth space in September 2004 above the Utah desert. Unfortunately, as it sped down towards the earth surface, its parachutes failed. Consequently, it crashed into the earth surface damaging some of its components. However, this crash did not damage the samples it was carrying. Thus, the scientists extracted them from the debris and transported them to a laboratory for analysis (Russell 1).
The mission had various objectives, the first being the collection of solar wind samples and bring them to earth for analysis. This mission required a lot of expertise because there were specific areas where genesis was to collect these specimens. An additional objective of the mission was to increase the knowledge of the sun’s composition. Many scientists have planned for this mission for a very long time.
However, most of them have not accomplished it because of the nature of the sun. It is evident that they could not construct an appropriate instrument that could reach the sun without damaging along the way. An addition purpose of the mission was to find out the procedures that led up to the derivation of the solar system (Russell 2).
The instruments used in the discovery mission include Genesis, which was the spacecraft. Additional instruments were silicon, aluminum, and gold foil collectors that purified the samples it collected in the sun. The mission was equipped with communication devices that conveyed the information collected in the sun. The most important instruments in this mission were the cameras that provided high dimension images and the sound detectors that conveyed any other movements in the sun a part from that of Genesis (Angelo, 262).
On its return journey, the capsule was fitted with parachutes means to open immediately it entered the earth surface. This was to provide it with a soft landing. Additionally, there were standby helicopters with the obligation of capturing the return capsule mid air. This strategy was to prevent it from crushing and splitting its contents (Angelo, 262).
The first discovery of the mission was the fact that the solar wind contained 350 wafers. In addition, the wafers contained various components like silicone and germanium. This was an important discovery in the mission as these components could help in further discoveries.
Thus, many scientists referred to it as an imperative initial discovery. Most importantly, this discovery gave assurance that the mission was in the right track. An additional discovery of this mission was that the sun consists of burning gases. This discovery arose from the scrutiny of Genesis’s temperature whenever it approached the sun to collect samples (Flores 70).
Importance of the discoveries
These discoveries were imperative because they answered the objectives of the mission. It is noteworthy that the presence of wafers and the composition of different gases will help the scientists to compute the isotopic fraction of oxygen and nitrogen in the sun. As a result, it will help in accomplishing the objectives concerning the sun’s composition.
An additional objective that will be addressed with this discovery is the increase of knowledge on the sun’s composition. Furthermore, the discoveries will aid in determining the processes involved in the solar system foundation (Flores 70).
Angelo, Joseph. Encyclopedia of space and astronomy. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing, 2006. Print.
Flores, Julián. A second genesis: stepping-stones towards the intelligibility of nature. World Scientific, 2009. Print.
Russell, Charles. The Genesis Mission. Massachusetts, MA: Springer Publishers. 2003. Print.