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  JAXA's Hayabusa to explore asteroid Itokawa (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   JAXA's Hayabusa to explore asteroid Itokawa
spaceuk
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posted 09-06-2005 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Launched on May 9, 2003, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa ("Falcon") is now rendezvousing with a 630-meter asteroid and will gently maneuver itself to within a few meters of asteroid Itokawa. It will then fire a projectile weighing about five grams into the surface at a speed of 300 meters per second.

Hayabusa is driven by an ion engine and is now just 750 kilometers from the asteroid Itokawa.

spaceuk
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posted 09-06-2005 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Japanese team are predicting that close up images of the asteroid will show it to be like a two lobed peanut shape.

spaceuk
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posted 09-06-2005 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The guideline schedule is for the current rendezvous to continue, then in October will undertake high phase angle observations. Then, in November is the exciting bit ! It will undertake one rehearsal and two actual touchdowns on the asteroid and take surface readings and samples.

In early December 2005 it will leave the asteroid and set off for Earth, delivering its samples in June 2007.

spaceuk
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posted 09-07-2005 02:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It previously went under the name of Muses-C but the Japanese later changed the name to Hayabusa.

spaceuk
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posted 09-08-2005 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today, Hayabusa is now just 175 km from its target.

spaceuk
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posted 09-08-2005 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hayabusa carries the AMICA instrument that uses a Optical Navigation Camera sensor-head with a Filter Wheel consisting of seven bands filters as well as one wide-band filter. The filters are:
  • ul (380nm),
  • b (420nm),
  • v (540nm),
  • w (700nm),
  • x (860nm),
  • p (940nm),
  • zs (1,000nm) bands respectively.
Hayabusa will perform the calibration observation using standard stars and plans to conclude Itokawa's spectral results soon.

In addition to AMICA, Hayabusa performed its on-orbit health check of its Laser Altimeter (LIDAR) , which detects the distance to Itokawa in order to trigger the stop maneuver which is when Hayabusa reaches the "Gate Position box" located 20 kilometers above the asteroid

Hayabusahas an approach speed of still 7 kilometers per hour which,at this rate, will reach Itokawa almost one week ahead.

spaceuk
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posted 09-09-2005 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hayabusa is carrying the MINERVA rover vehicle.

The Micro Nano Experimental Robot Vehicle at Asteroid (MINERVA) weighs only 591 grams, is only 100 mm high and 520 mm diameter. It is like a small drum in shape with solar cells covering its surface and with many 'pins' jutting out of its sides. Some of these pins contain the thermometers.

The MINERVA will be able to 'jump' about 9 cm maximum at a time.

It carries three CCDs, 6 thermometers and 6 photo diodes.

spaceuk
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posted 09-09-2005 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hayabusa returns closer images of Itokawa

Images are getting better as Hayabusa approaches asteroid Itokawa. The asteroid looks like a Frankfurter sausage now.

Ben
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posted 09-12-2005 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
JAXA update
Hayabusa arrives at target asteroid Itokaw

The asteroid exploration probe, "Hayabusa", which has been traveling to its target, the Itokawa, arrived some 20km away from the asteroid at 10:00 a.m. on September 12 (Japan Standard Time), and is now stationary at the site.

Images acquired by the Hayabusa show the rough and rocky surface of the Itokawa. The Hayabusa will carry out a scientific probe including sample collections and topological investigations over about two months.

spaceuk
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posted 09-22-2005 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Hayabusa team have tentavely named some prominent features on Itokawa as follows:
  • Muses Sea is the smooth terrain and stands for MUSES-C, the project code of Hayabusa, at the same time, named after the expanse where the Greek goddesses Muses are.

  • Uchinoura Bay is a potential crater on Itokawa, named after the mother port (launch site) of Hayabusa in Kyushu island, Japan.

  • Woomera Desert is also a potential large crater on Itokawa, named after the intended recovery area of Hayabusa-carried capsule with sample, Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) in Australia, the return port of Hayabusa.

spaceuk
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posted 10-05-2005 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hayabusa is just 8km altitude above asteroid Itokawa today.

Ben
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posted 10-05-2005 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like it's mission may be in jeopardy:

Space News: Japan's Asteroid Sample-Return Mission Has Problems
Japan's Hayabusa asteroid sample-return spacecraft has lost the use of a second reaction wheel, forcing increased reliance on its chemical-propellant thrusters for attitude control and raising questions about whether it can make its planned asteroid touchdown in November, Japan's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) announced Oct. 4.

spaceuk
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posted 10-11-2005 06:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to JAXA:
As already reported, Hayabusa lost one reaction wheel (X-axis) on July 31st and has taken an alternative flight mode using two wheels for the attitude stabilization.

On October 3rd, another Y-axis reaction wheel was found not functioning. The incident occurred at 23:08 JST on Oct. 2nd, while it is not operated from Japan.

On the malfunction of Y-axis wheel:
When the incident occurred, Hayabusa was under the autonomous asteroid tracking mode. The task was with no trouble compensated by RCS (chemical engines) and the observation had been maintained.

Currently, Hayabusa continues the attitude stabilization using one wheel plus two RCS engines. And subsequent observation plan is studied after adequate amount of information is gathered.

Note, Z-axis wheel has no problem from launch and in good health.

Affect to further Hayabusa flight activity:
Still under a detailed study. Fortunately, global mapping is almost completed.

In terms of guidance and navigation, Hayabusa uses radio measuremets, and no problem is foreseen.

Operation team is analyzing how to reduce fuel consumption for attitude stabilization. Activity plan will be updated and reported, as soon as the strategy is fixed.

spaceuk
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posted 10-28-2005 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice little video of Itokawa rotation taken by Hayabusa.

spaceuk
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posted 10-31-2005 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Japanese Hayabusa (previously known as Muses-C) will start final descent to asteroid Itokawa surface on 4th November 2005.

Its present distance from Itokawa 5.1km and is in its fourth day of the HP position keeping operation. They've carried out functional tests on the touch-down operation and observations on sampling site candidates were carried out.

spaceuk
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posted 11-01-2005 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A closeup image of the Muses Sea on Itokawa would seem indicate a very rocky boulder surface, which might prove 'troublesome' for the 'landing' and the hopper-rover aspects of the mission in a few days.

There are a few clear 'plain' areas but would need careful trajectory planning.

I wish them all success over next few days.

spaceuk
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posted 11-04-2005 06:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The rehearsal landing test has been cancelled due to a guidance problem but Hayabusa did get to 700 feet of Itokawa surface.

Japanese have said they have not yet ruled out the gathering of materials from Itokawa surface perhaps in next few days.

spaceuk
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posted 11-08-2005 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I note today that Hayabusa is now back to 7.5 km altitude above Itokawa - awaiting instructions for the retry at a landing on the asteroid.

spaceuk
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posted 11-10-2005 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hayabusa has started descending again and is now at 4.5 km altitude above Itokawa.

I really hope they can 'pull' this one off.

Blackarrow
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posted 11-10-2005 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are there any close-up images of the asteroid? I have only seen distant shots. The mission website is dreadful.

astropl
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posted 11-11-2005 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astropl   Click Here to Email astropl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very small, but with Hayabusa shadow on Itokawa.

On edit: better are here.

spaceuk
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posted 11-11-2005 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Nov. 9, the Hayabusa moved within 70 meters of the Itokawa during a descending test that aimed to verify the guidance and navigation functions.

The cause of an anomaly that led to the cancellation of the rehearsal scheduled on Nov. 4 was clarified, thus we will carry out its landing at the "MUSES Sea" and sampling under the following schedule.

Nov. 12: Rescheduled rehearsal for descending (Release the probing robot "Minerva").

Nov. 19: First sampling (Release the target marker with signatures).

Nov. 25: Second sampling.

spaceuk
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posted 11-12-2005 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Success!

Hayabusa decsended onto Itokawa today and has released the Minerva robot AND has since communicated with it.

Hayabusa returning to the 'home' position before it will later return to Itoawa surface to retrieve 'samples'.

MarylandSpace
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posted 11-12-2005 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To see the shadow of the satellite/probe on the asteroid is nothing short of incredible. I'm just awed.

micropooz
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posted 11-13-2005 08:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CNN is reporting that Minerva has been lost.

spaceuk
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posted 11-14-2005 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like Minerva has drifted off surface of Itokawa but Japanese controllers are hoping that 'solar wind' may help to bring it back to Itokawa surface.

They are still planning Nov 19th descent and surface sampling.

Ben
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posted 11-14-2005 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Minerva never touched the surface. It failed shortly after release and drifted away from the asteroid.

And Hyabusa will not attempt to touch the surface until Nov. 19.

This (the loss of Minerva) has no bearing on the rest of the mision or the sample taking.

On the other hand, Hyabusa is running very low on fuel and the chance of a successful sample return is less than 50% at this point.

spaceuk
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posted 11-17-2005 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
JAXA have said:
...that Hayabusa distance from Itokawa is 3.5 km and is 3 days before the 1st touch down and sampling. Hayabusa will also release a target marker with 880,000 signatures from people all over the world.

...and they are going to perform the touch-down on early Sunday morning (JST).

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 01:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hayabusa Descent Live Coverage, live blog with video and image coverage.

Japanese text but some English as well.

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hayabusa - a few minutes back was just 560 metres above surface.

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was flurry of team members around consoles a few minutes back and Japanese TV cameras were getting into position.

Hayabusa just 500 metres now and descending so cannot be far from 'touchdown'.

I'll leave you to view for yourself at the blog page.

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
May be a little while longer yet before 'touchdown and sampling' takes place but blog coverage is from 2-9am JST (Sunday now in Japan) and its about 3:30am JST now (7:30pm GMT and 2:30 EDT on Saturday evening I think).

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We've just had another update which says its now at 450 metres - so it looks like descent rate is around 50 metres per 30 minutes or 100 metres/hour.

I would expect them to really 'slow down' nearer the surface - so final touchdown may be at least one or two hours away.

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apologies - the time in Japan is now 430am Sunday and the rate of descent is much much slower.

The rate of descent is much slower than my previous post said. I was going by the Blog enters details and he posted 3 blogs in a few minutes or so and I miscalculated time diff between UK/Japan.

The rate of descent is about 0.5m/minute at moment.

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 01:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At 440JST blog said it is now at 440m altitude -so covered past 30 metres in 10 minutes or so - so descent rate has now increased to about 3m/min.

Scott
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posted 11-19-2005 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is so neat! It is approaching 400m as I write this.

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It almost reminds me of the Apollo 11 descent, where all we earthlings could do was watch tv coverage of the control room and listen to the audio.

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just under a 1000 feet to surface of Itokawa and JAXA have given the GO for touchdown ops.

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In last 10 minutes another 60 metres down to 230 metre altitude - giving a highish rate of 6m/min.

spaceuk
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posted 11-19-2005 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hayabusa down to 170 metres altitude - which gives a slightly increased rate of 7m/min for descent.


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