Genesis Collection

The Genesis collection encompasses samples collected during the NASA Genesis sample return mission, which launched in August 2001 and returned to Earth in September 2004. Genesis collected solar wind at Earth-Sun L1 location for 28 months, with collectors (very pure materials with highly polished surfaces) into which solar wind atoms were implanted, typically 40 to 100 nm below the surface.

AstroMat contains analytical data that were acquired on Genesis samples to determine the composition of the Sun, which can provide a good estimate of the composition of the solar nebula at the time when the planets were forming. Even though the Genesis capsule crashed upon Earth return, the Genesis samples were recovered, and the Genesis’ solar data is contributing to new insights in tracing the chemical evolution of diverse planetary samples (including samples from the Moon, asteroids, comets, and Mars), most of which came from a common starting material, the solar nebula.