News of the WeekPlanetary Science

Flipped Switch Sealed the Fate of Genesis Spacecraft

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Science  22 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5696, pp. 587
DOI: 10.1126/science.306.5696.587b

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A design error by spacecraft contractor Lockheed Martin Astronautics Inc. caused engineers to install critical sensors upside down in the Genesis sample return capsule, dooming it to slam into the Utah desert floor last month, according to the chair of the mishap investigation board.