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  Genesis probe heads back to Earth
Updated 08 September 2004, 14.55

Nasa's space craft Genesis, which has been collecting dust from the sun, is heading back to Earth on Wednesday.

The precious particles have to be returned to Earth in one piece, so Hollywood stunt pilots have been enlisted to help them land safely.

The dust will be ejected from the probe in a special capsule as the craft enters the Earth's atmosphere.

Helicopters will be waiting to snatch the capsule's parachute in midair to prevent it hitting the ground.

Four chances

The helicopter pilots have had 17 rehearsals for the task and haven't dropped a capsule yet.

When it happens for real they'll have four shots each at getting it right.


Unusual mission

It's an unusual mission for the daredevil stunt pilots.

They're more used to working on action films like Batman and The Hulk.

Scientists are hoping the special space dust will help tell them how Sun and the planets in our solar system developed.

Genesis has been touring space on the dust seeking mission for three years.

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