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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/07 05:27 CDT
The Hayabusa spacecraft is about to die. On Sunday, June 13, at 14:00 UTC, Hayabusa will burn up in Earth's atmosphere, bringing its dramatic seven-year mission to an end.
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/23 01:09 CDT
An update on Hayabusa posted to the JAXA website by project manager Junichiro Kawaguchi.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/17 07:49 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/08 12:50 CST
I love this asteroid. It's just so weird-looking.
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.
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.
Posted by Alan Stern on 2009/05/18 03:56 CDT
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.