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Video: Japanese Hayabusa Spacecraft's Fiery Return From Asteroid !!

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posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 10:29 AM

The Japanese-built Hayabusa spacecraft re-entered earth’s atmosphere Sunday night and put on a spectacular show as it burned up while traveling at the speed of an asteroid crashing to earth.

Hayabusa streaks across the night sky Monday.

This video was recorded by a group of astronomers from NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, also known as JAXA, and other organizations. They were aboard NASA’s DC-8 laboratory packed with cameras and other imaging instruments to capture the high-speed re-entry over an unpopulated area of South Australia.

The Japanese spacecraft spent seven years in space, including a short stop on the asteroid Itokowa five years ago. It has hopefully brought back samples from the asteroid.

It’s the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid and return to earth. Scientists recovered its space capsule Monday in Australia’s Outback. The samples would initially be studied by a team of scientists in Japan, and then other scientists will have the opportunity to examine the materials.

The re-entry offered a new opportunity for scientists to observe how the spacecraft broke into pieces, and how well the heat shield material protected the capsule with the sample. The data collected can be used for analysis for future earth re-entry voyages

Source: (video is at the source site)

I thought this was a great shot of the re-entry. I figured I would share as I know many of you like it. Very cool for sure.

I have been out of the loop for a few days... Did anything get brought back with the probe? Way to go Japan. Just getting the probe there was a feat, getting it back pilotless is amazing. And, why was it so late (3 years?).

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 10:32 AM
Great stuff! Hope they succeeded in bringing back some samples!

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 10:36 AM
Here's the vid:

Disappointed I missed it.

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