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Intro Astronomy Class 6: Mars (continued) and Asteroids

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/03/14 06:10 CDT

Continue exploring Mars and learn about asteroids in this video of class 6 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

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My ever-popular asteroids-and-comets montage, now in color, with bonus Toutatis

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/18 04:26 CST | 9 comments

My collage of all the asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft is probably the single most popular image I have ever posted on this blog. I've now updated it to be in color and to include Toutatis.

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Reading Itokawa's life history from microscopic samples

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/20 01:58 CDT

When Hayabusa's sample return capsule was first opened and found to be very clean-looking inside, I doubted that there could be enough material for laboratory analysis. JAXA announced later that they scraped about 1500 dust grains from the inside with a teflon spatula, and these likely came from Itokawa.

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LPSC 2011: Analysis of the grains returned by Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/16 12:39 CDT

I'd been despairing of finding a good source for a writeup of the presentations in the Hayabusa session at last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, but am happy to report that I've finally found an excellent one.

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365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: The Flight of Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/12 10:50 CDT

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, The Flight of Hayabusa, a recap of that dramatic mission.

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A brush painting for Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/07 03:16 CDT

Upon James Aldridge's return from Japan, he posted several albums worth of amazing photos, including several of their calligraphy instructor, well-known artist Aiko Tanaka, creating a gestural brush painting to commemorate Hayabusa's return.

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A look inside the Hayabusa sample capsule

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/06 08:42 CDT

A very brief item posted on the Hayabusa website included two pictures of the interior of its sample return capsule, one of which shows a particle.

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Hayabusa's return: a review

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/13 04:47 CDT

Hayabusa's return: round up some of the amazing photos, movies, and artworks that were posted and shared and Tweeted and re-Tweeted over the previous dozen hours or so.

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Welcome home, Hayabusa!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/13 09:18 CDT

At 13:51 UTC, the Hayabusa spacecraft -- having traveled to an asteroid and back, surviving countless challenges-- broke up into a fiery meteor over the midnight, midwinter Australian sky.

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Preparing for Hayabusa's return

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/11 06:10 CDT

Only about 40 hours remain for the Hayabusa mission. Its dramatic entry will take place at 14:00 UTC on Sunday, June 13.

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Hayabusa: Waiting

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/10 09:08 CDT

We're in the final days of the Hayabusa mission, but until Sunday I think we're in a state of "no news is good news."

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Hayabusa's final approach on target; Japan's ready to receive samples

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/09 12:34 CDT

Hayabusa's final maneuver, a three-hour "firing" of its ion thrusters to fine-tune the spacecraft's trajectory toward Australia, was successful.

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A brief history of Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/08 09:17 CDT

For those of you who found my Hayabusa mission recap too long, here's a graphical version of the history of the Hayabusa mission.

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Taking things slowly with IKAROS sail deployment

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2010/06/05 12:30 CDT

Planetary Society Executive Director Lou Friedman was at JAXA's Japanese Space Exploration Center to observe the deployment of IKAROS' solar sails.

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Sighting the homeworld

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/17 11:40 CDT

Coming closer every day, Mr. Hayabusa has sighted his final destination: his homeworld, Earth, and its attendant Moon.

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Anticipating the end of Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/23 02:08 CDT

A successful sample return for the Hayabusa mission will mean the fiery death of Mr. Hayabusa himself. The poignancy of this is not lost upon the people in Japan who are following the mission.

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More detail on the Hayabusa return timeline

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/22 04:25 CDT

JAXA has issued a notice with a little bit more detail on the timeline for Hayabusa's return to Earth.

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Hayabusa's coming home

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/21 10:12 CDT

It really looks like Hayabusa is going to make it home. Hayabusa's sample return capsule will be returning to Earth on June 13, 2010, landing in the Woomera Prohibited Area, Australia at about 14:00 UTC.

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Hayabusa update: a little east of Pollux

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/12 11:45 CDT

The first of what will be five trajectory correction maneuvers (TCMs) is "successfully completed," according to an update posted to the JAXA website.

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Hayabusa update: Traverse to night-side approach successful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/26 11:27 CDT

Hayabusa's mission team has successfully shifted the little spacecraft's approach trajectory from the day side to the night side of Earth, a critical maneuver for the survival of the sample return capsule.

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