For some years now, NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day has been one of the most popular portals operated by the US space agency. NASA’s APOD has released some very fascinating and intriguing pictures since its emergence on the Internet. However, recently an article titled “Flying Saucer Crash Lands in Utah Desert,” posted by APOD, took the Internet by storm and created a massive buzz in the online ecosystem.
In reality, even though it’s puzzlingly similar with a UFO crash site we can see in the movies or tabloids, the image released by NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is not about a real flying saucer crash. It is, actually, the sample return module from the Genesis mission, which was saucer-shaped from the beginning. The piece of metal fell from space in a desert in Utah.
Also, the title of the NASA’s article is accurate, as it’s indeed talking about a saucer-shaped object that fell in Utah. However, it might be considered a clickbait, as well.
The Image Of A “Flying Saucer” Crash Site Shared By NASA Is Not About An Actual UFO
The Genesis mission launched in 2001 with the goal to study the solar winds whose particles bounce off the Earth’s magnetic shield. While that’s a good thing for life on Earth, it’s not at all excellent news for the crafts orbiting the Earth that plan to study these particles of solar winds.
The mission of Genesis was to capture solar winds’ particles and return them to Earth, encapsulated inside the saucer-shaped module. In 2004, NASA did not intend for the “flying saucer”-like component of the Genesis mission to hit the Utah desert at such high speeds. However, a faulty parachute caused the sample return module of the Genesis mission to fall to Earth faster than expected.
NASA sent a helicopter to recover the capsule. When they reached the alleged flying saucer crash site, the scientists snapped the saucer-shaped module. NASA’s APOD shared the image earlier this week.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.