Homeward From Itokawa

Crack out your 3D glasses and watch this movie of asteroid Itokawa.

The Hayabusa probe faces a difficult return journey to Earth. Scientists aren’t sure if the spacecraft has actually snagged a sample of the big rock. Thanks to a fuel leak and three faulty engines, the prospects for the planned 2010 landing in Australia are low.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Homeward From Itokawa

  1. The movie would not work for me for some reason. The problems sound rather major. To be a scientist working on these probes must be extremely stressful I would think.

    Years of work can evaporate at any time duing these missions. nevertheless, even if there is no successful return of the craft they must dsurely be getting masses of good research data back?

  2. Todd says:

    Steve, it didn’t work for me either. I wasn’t able to get any web page from JAXA, the Japanese space agency to load.

    And yes, I was thinking of those many Mars missions that failed. I suppose there was some comfort in knowing that human probes to Mars weren’t going to cease any time soon. But that Pluto probe: eight years from Jupiter. If that were to fail without any other mission on the drawing board, it would be a crusher.

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