M. Pellin, Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory
Atoms Returned from Our Sun: First Measurements from the Genesis Spacecraft
Physics Division Colloquium - 27 Jan 2006

The return to Earth of solar wind samples by the Genesis Discovery Mission has opened new opportunities to better understand the composition of the solar nebula and formation of our solar system. The various high-purity materials which acted as collectors for solar wind were returned to Earth in September 2004 rather spectacularly when a failed parachute deployment caused the crash of our Sample Return Capsule (SRC). These samples contain a record of the elemental and isotopic abundances of the solar wind implanted in the near surface region of the collectors. Despite the significant contamination caused by the crash we have successfully begun to measure solar wind components in these samples.