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The BBC reports that scientists have retrieved the damaged science canister from the Genesis mission and taken it to a clean room at the US Army base where it crashed.

A team of specialists plucked pieces of dirt and mud that had lodged in the canister after it smashed at high speed into the Utah desert. The Nasa Genesis team says it will begin examining the contents of the capsule later on Thursday.

Scientists are hopeful they can recover some of its solar wind samples. The precise nature of these particles, collected in space on delicate wafers, could tell scientists how the Sun and the planets grew out of a huge cloud of gas and dust 4.5 billion years ago.

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