Lessons Learned

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Genesis Mission Lessons Learned

Sample return missions require chemical contamination to be minimized and potential sources of contamination to be documented and preserved for future use. Genesis focused on and successfully accomplished the following:

  • Early involvement provided input to mission design:
    • cleanable materials and cleanable design
    • mission operation parameters to minimize contamination during flight
  • Established contamination control authority at a high level and developed knowledge and respect for contamination control across all institutions at the working level
  • Provided state-of-the-art spacecraft assembly cleanroom facilities for science canister assembly and function testing.  Both particulate and airborne molecular contamination was minimized
  • Using ultrapure water, cleaned spacecraft components to a very high level. Stainless steel components were cleaned to carbon monolayer levels (1015 carbon atoms/cm2)
  • Established long-term curation facility

Lessons learned and areas for improvement, include: Bare aluminum is not a cleanable surface and should not be used for components requiring extreme levels of cleanliness.