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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Nov 7, 2005 19:30:34 GMT -6
Japanese Spacecraft To Make History
Tokyo (UPI) Nov 07, 2005
A Japanese spacecraft will reportedly make history by the end of the month when it touches down on an asteroid 180 million miles from Earth to gather dust. The satellite -- Hayabusa or "Falcon" -- will make two or three touch-and-goes to create and capture dust on the asteroid Itokawa and then to return to Earth with a 10th of an ounce of asteroid dust, The Washington Post reported Monday.
Hayabusa would become the first spacecraft from Earth to land on a celestial body and bring something back from it since U.S. astronauts collected samples from the moon in 1972.
The spacecraft was launched May 9, 2003. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency named the asteroid Itokawa, after Hideo Itokawa, the father of the Japanese space program.
Scientists said Hayabusa must finish its mission by the end of the month to be in proper alignment for its 19-month journey to Earth. Hayabusa's re-entry capsule containing the dust samples is to parachute into Australia's southern desert in June 2007.
Can you say...."Andromeda Strain?...
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail