PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011

Contact: JPL/Martha J. Heil (818) 354-0850
Kennedy Space Center/George H. Diller (321) 867-2468

NASA’s Genesis spacecraft, to be launched aboard a Boeing
Delta II vehicle on July 30, arrived today at Florida’s
Kennedy Space Center from Denver, Colo. aboard a U.S. Air
Force C-17 aircraft.

Genesis will capture a piece of the Sun — a sample of
the ions and elements in the solar wind — and bring the
samples back to Earth so that scientists can study the exact
composition of the Sun and probe the solar system’s origin. By
studying the solar wind, scientists will find clues to the
formation of the solar system as we know it today. Genesis is
managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.,
and the spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics,
Denver, Colo.

In 2004, Genesis’ samples will return to Earth in a
spectacular helicopter capture. As the sample return capsule
parachutes to the ground in Utah’s Air Force Test and Training
Range, specially trained helicopter pilots will catch it. The
samples will then be analyzed to provide a “Rosetta Stone” of
solar material for comparing the Sun’s original ingredients to
those of the planets and other solar system bodies.
Information on the mission is available at

The spacecraft will be processed for launch in the
Kennedy Space Center’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility.
Processing will begin with a functional test, an electrical
systems test of the spacecraft and deployment of the solar
arrays. A test on June 7 will verify the spacecraft’s
communications systems and radio links to NASA’s Deep Space
Network space telecommunications system. Science instrument
operations tests are scheduled June 11, and on June 12 the
solar arrays will be cleaned and stowed for launch. Loading
of the spacecraft’s hydrazine propellant is scheduled for the
week of June 22, and a spin-balance test will follow on June

Genesis will be mated to a Star 37 upper stage booster on
July 17 before being transported to Space Launch Complex 17
the following day. Once mated to the Delta II, a spacecraft
functional test will be performed. The payload fairing is to
be installed around Genesis on July 25. Stacking of the
Boeing Delta 7326 launch vehicle at Pad 17-A is scheduled to
begin on June 12. Launch is scheduled for July 30 at 12:36
p.m. EDT.

Genesis is part of NASA’s Discovery Program of
competitively selected, low-cost solar system exploration
missions with highly focused science goals. Chester Sasaki of
JPL is project manager, and Dr. Donald Burnett of the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena is the
principal investigator. JPL is a division of Caltech.