UTAH TEST AND TRAINING RANGE -- Lockheed Martin Genesis spacecraft team members -- Joseph Vellinga, Genesis program manager, and Bob Corwin, Genesis recovery operations chief -- on-site at the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR), are available for interviews.
As NASA's Genesis mission is prepared to return solar wind samples to Earth Sept. 8, a team from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company that built and operated the Genesis spacecraft is at UTTR to implement the mid-air helicopter recovery of the sample return capsule.
Genesis was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Aug. 8, 2001. One hundred days later, on Nov. 16, the spacecraft was placed into an orbit around the L1 point -- about a million miles from Earth -- at a place in space where the gravitational pulls of the Earth and the Sun upon an object are approximately equal.
Beginning Dec. 3, 2001 and continuing for the next 850 days, special collector arrays in the Genesis science canister were exposed, at designated intervals, to the solar wind. The collector arrays are circular trays comprising palm-sized hexagonal tiles made of various high-purity materials such as silicon, sapphire, gold and diamond-like carbon, in which particles of the solar wind have become embedded and captured. On April 22, 2004, with samples safely stored, Genesis began its journey back toward Earth.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2003 sales of $31.8 billion.
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PRNewswire -- Sept. 7
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin
Web site: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/