Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now Join Now!

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

   Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Hayabusa update

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

01-06-2008 23:48 CDT

Topics: asteroid 25143 Itokawa, Hayabusa (MUSES-C), mission status

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. It's also not known whether the capsule actually contains a sample.

Aphelion is an important date for a solar-powered spacecraft, the date of lowest power. But the report seems to indicate that Hayabusa is currently okay, in regular communication with Earth because Earth is located near the Sun (to Hayabusa) and thus they can maintain both Earth pointing for radio communications and Sun pointing for solar power simultaneously. "As a result the continuous communication is established and will be kept by [until?] next March." The report goes on to say that "the Hayabusa operation team on the ground has just started to prepare for the capsule retrieval." So, despite all Hayabusa's challenges, they are still talking about returning the capsule, which would happen some time in 2010.

 
See other posts from June 2008

 

Or read more blog entries about: asteroid 25143 Itokawa, Hayabusa (MUSES-C), mission status

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

JOIN THE
PLANETARY SOCIETY

Our Curiosity Knows No Bounds!

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Us

Featured Images

Mars Orbiter Mission at Mars

Capture the flag
SpaceX Dragon Version 2
Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring, September 2014
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Fly to an Asteroid!

Travel to Bennu on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft!

Send your name

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!