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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

The Death of the Falcon

Filed under pretty pictures, Hayabusa (MUSES-C), amateur image processing, best of, spacecraft, animation

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The Death of the Falcon This amazing video of the end of the Hayabusa mission was captured from the window of a DC-8 aircraft operated by NASA as part of the Hayabusa Re-entry Airborne Observing Campaign. The movie captures the fiery breakup of the Hayabusa mothership, as well as the steadier burn of the sample return capsule. The original video can also be viewed on YouTube or you can download it here (42 MB, Quicktime format). To produce this animation, one frame per second was extracted from the full movie, and the frames aligned on the position of the reentry capsule. Then the contrast was adjusted to set the sky black and emphasize subtler features in the fireballs. (Click the image to view a higher resolution version.)

NASA / ARC / processed by Emily Lakdawalla

Original image data dated on or about June 13, 2010.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder: Emily Lakdawalla


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