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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/19 11:16 CST

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.

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Hayabusa stumbles on the path back to Earth

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/11 11:19 CST

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.

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Mars Science Laboratory Instruments: MARDI

Posted by Ryan Anderson on 2009/10/06 04:35 CDT

Next up in my series of posts about the instruments on MSL is the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI).

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Mars Science Laboratory Instruments: MAHLI

Posted by Ryan Anderson on 2009/09/30 07:20 CDT

Last time, I talked about the MastCam color cameras on MSL, so it only makes sense to continue with one of the other cameras: The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).

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Mars Science Laboratory Instruments: Mastcam

Posted by Ryan Anderson on 2009/09/17 04:35 CDT

A few weeks ago I gave a lunch talk at Cornell summarizing the MSL mission and particularly the instruments that it will carry and was shocked by the number of people who showed up!

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Gravity's Bow

Posted by Timothy Reed on 2009/06/15 03:56 CDT

Timothy Reed explains how optical telescopes are tested for gravity sag, and the methods used to counteract or compensate for it.

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Designing the Cassini Tour

Posted by John Smith on 2009/06/07 12:01 CDT

Each Titan flyby is not a fork in the road, but rather a Los Angeles style cloverleaf in terms of the dizzying number of possible destinations. So how did our current and future plans for the path of the Cassini spacecraft come to be? That's the question Dave Seal put to me since that's my job -- I am a tour designer.

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Canto II: Titan's Atmosphere and the Solar Cycle

Posted by David Seal on 2009/06/03 04:44 CDT

David Seal explains the complications for Cassini coming from Titan's atmosphere and Solar Cycle.

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Looking at Mars with the MRO CTX

Posted by Ken Edgett on 2009/05/29 12:21 CDT

Looking at Mars with the MRO CTX

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There's more to the Hayabusa story

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/02/07 06:09 CST

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.

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Danes on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/07/17 08:41 CDT

I was delighted to receive an email from Morten Bo Madsen, who I knew from the Mars Exploration Rover mission as "that Danish magnet guy," the fellow responsible for the magnet experiments on nearly every American Mars mission. The magnets were originally designed to study the properties of airborne Martian dust, which would help determine its composition.

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"Return of the Falcon," a new animation of the Hayabusa mission

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/11/26 04:38 CST

JAXA has released a 30-minute video of the Hayabusa mission, "Return of the Falcon," combining computer animation with actual footage of the construction and launch as well as images from the spacecraft of Itokawa.

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Europlanet: RADAR views of Titanian Geology

Posted by Doug Ellison on 2007/08/24 05:38 CDT

"What plays in Potsdam stays in Potsdam" - that's how Ralph described a problem I mentioned over at UMSF where I explained I couldn't combine the audio of my talk with the MOV of the slides because you're not allowed to record presentations. It's "law of the stag" for conferences. So, in the spirit of the law, here's an overview of Ralph's excellent overview of Titanian geology as seen by various RADAR passes.

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Europlanet : CoRoT - Preliminary Results

Posted by Doug Ellison on 2007/08/20 03:48 CDT

ESA's planet-hunting satellite COROT bagged its first exoplanet in observations of the star COROT-Exo-1.

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Deep Impact live blog

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/04 01:45 CDT

Live blog from the press room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as Deep Impact's Impactor meets its fate at the comet....

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News: Radio Astronomers Rescue Science Results for Huygens' Doppler Wind Experiment

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/02/09 10:00 CST

Earth's radio astronomers have saved the day for one of the Huygens instrument teams. Today, the Doppler Wind Experiment (DWE) team announced their first science results, despite losing nearly all of their expected data.

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Descent Imager Spectral Radiometer (DISR)
Optical Remote Sensing Instrument for the Huygens Probe

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/01/10 10:00 CST

The Descent Imager Spectral Radiometer crams six sub-instruments into a tiny footprint within the Huygens probe.

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