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[i]We made a first Touching Down (TD-1) attempt yesterday [Sunday].
Hayabusa released its 'Signature target Marker from 880,000 persons' at 40 m and successfully changed its attitude control to 'terrain alignment autonomous control using Laser Range Finder' at the altitude of just 17 m, below which Hayabusa itself stopped firing and started free fall descent to the surface. We were watching it via Doppler. But no touch-down occurred for surprisingly 30 minutes, during which the descent continued at very slow speed of about 2 cm/sec. We estimate Hayabusa drifted at very low altitude along the surface. Therefore, Hayabusa did not touch down the surface, but reached below 10 m altitude. In terms of the guidance and navigation as well as the 'Terrain Alignment Control', we think we achieved a big step.
We directed a command to Hayabusa to make an abort, since the sub-spacecraft point might have shifted so much from the intended area.
One concern was the surface temperature. The instruments temperature went high so much and we need to make sure if every instrument is still in order. This time, the guidance and navigation to the intended point was performed quite well with the residual speed of almost several mm/second.
Hayabusa fell into a Safe Mode at today's Touching-Down trial, due to some attitude anomaly very close to the altitude of about 10 m or so. The details are under investigation. The recovery operation has been performed successfully.
The project looks positively at the next opportunity, since almost every difficult step was now identified to function normally.[/i]
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