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23-Oct-04 | Genesis update

Preliminary reports from the Genesis Mishap Investigation Board suggest that a direct cause of its disastrous September return to Earth may have been reentry accelerometers that were installed upside-down — hence leaving the spacecraft unaware that it had entered the atmosphere. Beyond that, as usual the Board is likely to indict certain aspects of management at NASA, JPL, and Lockheed-Martin, not to mention the use of accelerometers whose design inherently allows them to be installed incorrectly. Meanwhile, despite the tragic appearance of the spacecraft following impact, scientists continue to express confidence that substantial portions of the samples may yet be salvageable.

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