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SCI/TECH: Probe Set For Asteroid Touch Down

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posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 12:18 PM
Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft will soon move into place for an historic attempt to collect a sample from an asteroid.
During its encounter with asteroid Itokawa, Hayabusa will touch down twice and send a small robot to the surface. This could have great scientific value; the sample could help researchers learn more about the raw materials that made up the early Solar System.
In November, the probe will make two brief touchdowns on the asteroid.

Each time it "lands", it will fire a metal pellet into the surface at 300m/s. After the firings, the probe takes off to collect the dust ejected by the impact.

The Japanese probe will also deploy a small robotic "hopper" called Minerva. This will perform several 10m-high jumps on the surface, taking pictures and temperature readings.

Hayabusa's sample-return cannister should parachute back to Earth in June 2007.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) launched Hayabusa on 9 May 2003 aboard an M-V-5 rocket.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Why are nations so eager to collect data about big rocks???

Couldnt the money the US spend on the Deep Impact mission and the money that Japan has spent on this one have been used to fund something more exciting or worthwhile?

Its about time space agencys stopped wasting already stretched budgets on unimportant missions to little rocks and started planning for missions to Mars and the Moon, Or the hugely pointless ISS.

posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 01:04 PM
What if the samples come back with a high content of uranium or some other rare/valuable mineral or element. Who knows, maybe they will come up with something previously unknown that can solve all the energy problems...

I found these examples (and a lot more) here as just one quick list of genuine waste:

The federal government cannot account for $24.5 billion spent in 2003.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) overpayments cost $9 billion annually.

The Advanced Technology Program spends $150 million annually subsidizing private businesses, and 40% of this goes to Fortune 500 companies.

And right here on ATS is an interesting discussion that reflects that some people see the announced return to the moon as a waste.

Personally, I think space exploration (including comets and asteroids) is a better use of tax dollars than a lot of other choices.

edited for typo

[edit on 29-9-2005 by Jaryn]

posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 09:38 PM
Data About big rocks...

Maybe not that important...that is, until a BIG ROCK is headed your way..
Then, it might pay to know the structure, the components, the mass..

There are tons of other things worth knowing as well..

Imagine, being able to plop a space probe onto an asteroid..and letting it take a ride around the entire orbit of the 'roid..Sampling the environment...Posssbily getting energy from local elements, Maye even human 'roid riders.. Taking a trip
around the solar system...You just never know!

posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 10:16 PM
i cant wait until this project is landed. i have been waiting for awhile for this one.alot of info will come out of this rock if it can bring back the sample.

posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 10:40 PM
These experiments are conducted stricly for the use in future technology and knowledge IMO. Like spacedoubt pointed out, it is always good to know about an impending danger long before it becomes an issue.

On another note though, if the Japanese were conducting this experiment to say analyze mineral deposits for the purpose of extraction as a resource (in the future of course) then perhaps it would also be wise to send probes to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. I know for a fact there would be untold number of mineral resources and ores lying in those things that the human race of generations from now would be able to use.

Timeline of events perhaps for space?
Permanent moonbase (international hopefully) within the next 30 years.
Manned missions to Mars between 15-25 years afterwards.
Mining operations in the asteroid belt with the ability to return to any base within a years timeframe 5-10 years after.

I feel like this timetable is probable. Perhaps a little too optimistic maybe? I guess I am just hoping to see these things happen before I die. Give me a little pride and hope in humanity ya know.

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 03:44 AM
I don't know how a Mars mission would help us. Except maybe piss-off those who can't go on it.

A Moon mission now that would be interesting as we could replace all the fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables here on Earth with 1% of the Moon's surface transformed by robots into energy producing solar cells.

It would equal 10's of $trillions on investment of $1-2 trillion .

Now that would be something!


posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 02:47 PM

I don't know how a Mars mission would help us.

It's easier to mine asteroids if you can just jump back and forth from Mars...

As stated, this is just baby steps towards the ultimate goal: Complete domination and colonization of our solar system. We need to understand where we are going, before we go there. Whatever the reason... defense, capital, pure exploration. You can't understand a book unless you read it, and you can't understand a 'big rock' unless you look at a little chunk of it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again... we either get OFF our Really Big Rock, or everyone dies.... damn humans.

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