Genesis Falls to Earth

By Deane Barker on September 8, 2004

Space capsule crashes to Earth after chute failure: A few weeks ago we reported on plans to snag the Genesis capsule using helicopter stunt pilot (the post has a picture). Sadly, they never got the chance — the capsule’s parachutes never opened and it dropped like a rock.

Retrieval helicopters were supposed to snatch the capsule’s parachute with a hook as it floated down at 400 feet a minute, or more than 6 feet per second. But the capsule tumbled out of control. It was supposed to be spinning at 15 revolutions a minute to slice evenly through the atmosphere, but camera images showed it tumbling instead.