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Hogarth judge

December 2016

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Hogarth judge

What colour is your parachute?

Well, it looks like the Genesis capsule's parachute failed to open on descent, and crashed into the Utah desert. It is quite unlikely that anything of scientific value survived the crash.

This is regrettable for science and the space programme. On the other hand, I cannot help but feel happy for the stunt pilot who was supposed to fly a helicopter to catch it as it descended, a capture made impossible by the parachute failure. My understanding is that this maneuver had been practiced, and on the practice runs the pilot made a successful catch nine times out of seventeen tries.

Those aren't the best of odds. I'm happy, at least, that the responsibility of failure has been taken off the pilot's shoulders.

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