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Thruster trouble for Hayabusa

Emily Lakdawalla • November 29, 2005

Hayabusa has been riding an incredible wave of luck lately, resulting in the dramatic success of the sample grab last week. But it looks as though Hayabusa's luck may be running out.

A gap in the Hayabusa telemetry, as the Earth rotates

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2005

If I understand the various sources(and my somewhat vague memory) correctly, it now appears that Earth has rotated far enough to take the Deep Space Network station at Goldstone, through which Hayabusa has been transmitting, out of line with Hayabusa.

Closer still to Itokawa

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2005

Hayabusa reached an altitude of about 560 meters above Hayabusa at 17:30 UTC. And at 18:00 UTC they are at 500 meters. This is still farther above the asteroid than the asteroid is big...there is still a long way to go before Hayabusa touches down...

Getting ready for Hayabusa's touchdown

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2005

In a further update on Hayabusa's status, we have been contacted by Kazuya Yoshida of the Space Robotics Laboratory at Tohuku University. Yoshida reports that the touchdown is now planned to take place "in early morning of November 20 (Sunday) JST", which would make it late Saturday evening UTC, or Saturday midday here in California.

Another Hayabusa update: small delay

Emily Lakdawalla • November 17, 2005

There has been a delay of just about a day in JAXA's plans for landing Hayabusa on Itokawa.

A couple of Hayabusa updates

Emily Lakdawalla • November 16, 2005

Tak Iyori from The Planetary Society of Japan has sent us a couple of updates on the status of Hayabusa and the mission's plans for landing on Itokawa.

Amazing Hayabusa images

Emily Lakdawalla • November 10, 2005

These photos pretty much speak for themselves. They are amazing. Hayabusa saw its own shadow on Itokawa, and took a photo of the released target marker.

A piece of a new picture from Hayabusa

Emily Lakdawalla • October 04, 2005

The Hayabusa mission has proven to be a bit of a tease -- they were releasing lots of images to the public as they approached asteroid Itokawa, but once they arrived, the image releases shut down entirely. There is finally a little postage stamp of an image captured by Hayabusa at "home position," only 7 kilometers from the asteroid, compared here to a picture taken from "gate position," 20 kilometers away.

An animation of Itokawa from Hayabusa

Emily Lakdawalla • September 07, 2005

This lovely animation of Itokawa represents 20 individual images taken between 18:10 on September 5 and 00:30 on September 6, from a distance of less than 700 kilometers away.

Catching up with Hayabusa

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2005

Hayabusa (formerly known as MUSES-C) is getting very, very close to its target asteroid Itokawa, and should be arriving soon!

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