Two days after launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., the Genesis mission continues
to proceed exceedingly well.
Since the spacecraft's signal was acquired by a Deep Space Network ground
station at Goldstone, Calif., at 10:38 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, Aug. 8, the mission team
has continued to monitor the status of spacecraft subsystems. All of them are performing
normally. Ground controllers established a two-way communication link between
Genesis and Earth, enabling the navigation team to start collecting data to assess the
spacecraft's flight path.
Genesis' flight path was adjusted successfully today at about 10:21 a.m. PDT. The
small thrusters burned for 53.5 seconds. This moved the spacecraft about 5.2 meters per
second (11.6 miles per hour) into a path to reach the Lagrange 1, or L1, point, where the
gravities of the Sun and Earth are balanced. Genesis will reach L1 in November 2001.
The navigation team expects to be able to determine by Monday how to modify the
spacecraft's flight path during the next adjustment in early September.
Among various housekeeping events just after launch, the team commanded the
spacecraft to transmit to Earth and brought the spacecraft out of safe mode. Safe mode is
a standby state used to keep the spacecraft dormant during launch. Genesis has now
communicated with all three of NASA's Deep Space Network stations -- in Goldstone,
Calif.; Canberra, Australia; and Madrid, Spain.
The team also commanded Genesis to spin at its normal rate, 1.6 revolutions per
Genesis will collect pieces of the Sun called solar wind to help scientists better
understand our solar system's development.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Genesis
mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Lockheed Martin
Astronautics, Denver, Colo., designed and built the spacecraft and will operate it jointly
with JPL. Major portions of the payload design and fabrication were carried out at the
Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and at NASA's Johnson Space Center,