Thursday, June 10, 2010

The countdown to Hayabusa continues

If all goes well, on sunday night at about 11:30pm local time, the Hayabusa spacecraft will be floating gently down to Woomera on its parachute that will deploy at about 10km altitude.

As I've blogged on before, the Hayabusa spacecraft will also hopefully contain some dust samples from the asteroid Itokawa, after overcoming a series of major problems to limp back to Earth, in what could be described as simply amazing engineering on behalf of the JAXA engineers.

Both Japan and NASA will be sending down sensitive tracking equipment to track the spacecraft on reentry, with scientists including Professor Trevor Ireland from the Australian National University eagerly awaiting to see the results.

For those wanting to follow the mission live, the Hayabusa site can be found here.

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