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The $264 million Genesis space capsule that crashed into the Utah desert
last month failed because four pencil stub-size gravity switches designed to
trigger the release of the spacecraft's parachutes were installed backward,
NASA officials said yesterday.
Michael G. Ryschkewitsch, chairman of NASA's Mishap Investigation Board,
said engineers assembling the Genesis probe more than four years ago were
misled by errors in designs prepared by Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp.
"The drawings are not correct," Ryschkewitsch said.
The Genesis setback came five years after the Mars Climate Orbiter
apparently vanished into space or burned up in the Martian atmosphere after
Lockheed Martin engineers incorrectly programmed it with English rather than
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