Helicopter to Catch Satellite

By Deane Barker on August 20, 2004

NASA prepares to catch a falling star sample: This is awesome. It’s rare that the world of geeks and the world of action movie stars collides so enjoyably.

To increase understanding of the sun’s composition, NASA in 2001 launched the $264 million Genesis mission to collect samples from the solar wind — electrically charged particles blown out from the sun at up to 2 million mph. […]

To prevent contamination and damage to the fragile silicon wafers that collected the star dust should the Genesis capsule hit the ground, NASA will try to snare the capsule in midair as it descends.