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Hayabusa spacecraft headed back toward Earth, perhaps with asteroid dust in hand

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posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 12:24 AM
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Hayabusa spacecraft headed back toward Earth, perhaps with asteroid dust in hand (Scientific American).



A Japanese spacecraft that visited an asteroid and perhaps even sampled its surface is returning home. The Hayabusa probe, launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2003, will release a heat-shielded return capsule on June 13 that may contain the first ever samples from asteroid Itokawa.


Scientists said the capsule has had its final course alterations and is headed to Australia. One problem is they don't know how much damage the craft has taken so are unsure whether the capsule can survive re-entry.

The asteroid probe was on has a orbit that crosses Mars as well a some comets so this could really provide some excellent data about our early solar system!

The craft should arrive back to Earth by June 14th, 2010.


[edit on 12-6-2010 by Thermo Klein]




posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 03:14 PM
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Not sure when we'll get more info but they are expecting to start analyzing data by next weekend. (aka "bump the thread"
)



posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 03:22 PM
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Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! I cant wait til it gets back. These kind of missions seem almost impossible to pull off. Ive been waiting since I graduated HS for this mission to come to a close haha



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