Stunt Pilots Last Line in $300 Million Space Project

How's this for pressure? You're a Hollywood stunt pilot on contract to NASA to catch a 500-pound canister returning from a three-year, two-million-mile mission containing particles ejected from the Sun. The project cost NASA $300 million and, in order to preserve the samples, you have to catch the parachuting canister with a helicopter under any weather conditions possible. Fun, eh?

The project is called Genesis, and is due to arrive back on Earth on 8 September.

"The pressure will be on to do a perfect capture," Mr. [Dan] Rudert said. "When you're on live television and you are catching something that cost $300 million to make, you are either going to be a hero or a goat."

Good luck to Dan Rudert and the second pilot, Cliff Fleming.

Link (NYT) [via Boing Boing]

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