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Hayabusa on the home stretch

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2009

Hayabusa is still 100 million kilometers from the Earth, less than an astronomical unit away but still with months to travel. But according to an update posted to their websitethis morning by project manager Junichiro Kawaguchi, Hayabusa is on the home stretch.

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 8: Itokawa

Emily Lakdawalla • December 08, 2009

I love this asteroid. It's just so weird-looking.

Hayabusa's still coming home: JAXA engineers come up with yet another creative solution

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2009

Trouble has come time and again to JAXA's little Hayabusa asteroid sample return mission, yet the mission's engineers always come up with new and creative ways to solve problems.

Hayabusa stumbles on the path back to Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2009

JAXA issued a press release (in Japanese) on November 9 stating that one of Hayabusa's ion thrusters, thruster D, had stopped operating. Hayabusa launched with four ion thrusters, but D was one of only two that are still functioning. So the failure of thruster D is a serious problem.

Exciting Times Ahead: 2010 Will Sizzle, and 2011 Will Really Cook!

Alan Stern • May 18, 2009

Today, I'm kicking the week off with a look at the unusually intense confluence of far flung planetary exploration that's just around the corner, starting the middle of next year.

There's more to the Hayabusa story

Emily Lakdawalla • February 07, 2009

After posting my brief "Hooray for Hayabusa" note on Thursday I got an email from the Japanese blogger "5thstar," telling me that there was more to Hayabusa's story.

Hooray for Hayabusa!

Emily Lakdawalla • February 04, 2009

According to JAXA (the Japanese space agency), poor little Hayabusa has successfully restarted its ion engine and has resumed powered flight today. Hooray! This is good news for Hayabusa's eventual return to Earth.

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