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Blog Archive

 

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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Hayabusa update: Last modifications to Earth return trajectory

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.

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What's up in the solar system in January 2010

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/04 01:29 CST

While we don't have Moon bases, we do have plenty of spacecraft. Before I get into my more detailed look at the activities of the 20-odd spacecraft wandering about the solar system, I thought I'd look ahead to 2010 more generally and see what the year has in store for us.

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Hayabusa on the home stretch

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.

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

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.

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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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Hooray for Hayabusa!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/02/04 07:18 CST

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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Hayabusa update

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/06/01 11:48 CDT

JAXA has posted a note on their website on the status of Hayabusa, which apparently reached aphelion in late May. Hayabusa is Japan's amazing ion-powered mission to asteroid Itokawa, which touched down on Itokawa to grab a sample in mid-November 2005, but suffered an injury that has left in doubt its ability to return the sample capsule to Earth.

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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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LPSC: Friday: Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/03/20 04:54 CST

The audience was rapt as Project Manager Jun'ichiro Kawaguchi stood up to give an introduction to the Hayabusa spacecraft and described the saga of the mission to date.

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Thruster trouble for Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/11/29 08:59 CST

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.

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A gap in the Hayabusa telemetry, as the Earth rotates

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/11/19 01:02 CST

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.

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Closer still to Itokawa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/11/19 08:46 CST

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...

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