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THE NATION | IN BRIEF / FLORIDA

NASA Launches Craft to Collect Bits of Sun

August 09, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

After nine days of delay, the Genesis NASA robotic explorer rocketed away from Cape Canaveral on an unprecedented mission to gather and return tiny particles of the sun.

Liftoff was scuttled five times last week by bad weather and technical concerns.

Genesis will make a three-month journey to a point 1 million miles from Earth and 92 million miles from the sun. There it will use collector panels to gather a minute amount of atoms from the solar wind over 2 1/2 years.

The samples are to be returned in a capsule, dropped by parachute and then parafoil over the Utah desert with a helicopter making a dramatic midair catch.

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