On the Cover:
Top: On June 13, 2010, Japan's Hayabusa
spacecraft returned home from its seven-year journey to asteroid Itokawa. A team of scientists from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), NASA, and other organizations studied the spacecraft's fiery reentry using instruments on board NASA's DC-8 airborne laboratory. The small point of light at the lower right in this still video frame is the precious sample-return capsule. Bottom: Hayabusa
team members transported the sample-return capsule to Australia's Woomera Test Range Instrumentation Building, where it was held overnight before being returned to Japan.
NASA/ARC-SST SETI Institute, Australian Science Media Center
Volume 30, number 4
Download this issue as a PDF
(Planetary Society members only)
4 Passing the Torch: The Planetary Society's New Director: Meet Bill Nye
8 We Make it Happen! Looking for ET Using Laser Light: Bruce Betts explains how The Planetary Society is helping in the search for life in the universe.
12 Hayabusa Returns! Looking Back on the Little Spacecraft that Could: Emily Lakdawalla reflects on Hayabusa upon its fiery return to Earth.
18 Solar Sail Update: IKAROS Deploys and LightSail Moves Forward Louis D. Friedman gives a status report on these two missions.
17 World Watch Orion and Hayabusa
20 Questions and Answers Nix and Hydra; LightSail; meteorites on Mars
22 Members' Dialogue The budget battle; SETI
23 Society News Discovery Team Members; Travel with The Planetary Society
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.
Pretty pictures and