Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hayabusa Return Delayed 3 Years; Now Scheduled for 2010

Hayabusa, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) probe to asteroid Itokawa, needs some time, approximately three years, for a reboot to save the probe and whatever samples it may or may not have on board. Its return to Earth is now scheduled for 2010. Scientists have managed to restore many capabilities of the damaged probe already and the delay will allow them time to fully restore control.
Despite indications from recent reports the probe failed to collect soil samples of asteroid material it had many successes including landing twice , collecting reams of data and taking some astounding photographs.
Perhaps its greatest contribution is in increasing our knowledge of asteroid composition for exploration, commercial value and planetary defense.

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