mission patch

What: Airborne observation of the Hayabusa Sample Return Capsule re-entry over Australia, using a wide array of imaging and spectrographic cameras.

When: June 13, 2010

Where: Australia

Why: Fast re-entry, similar to that of probes sent to Mars, and similar to natural meteors. Only the second flight test of a thermal protection system under such conditions, following the Stardust SRC entry in January of 2006.

Who: International team of scientists (NASA, JAXA, ...), set up on a research aircraft operated by NASA


Mission statement: A mission to help evaluate the performance of thermal protection systems of atmospheric entry vehicles returning to Earth at superorbital velocities.
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IMAGES

Final orbit The final orbit of Hayabusa on approach to Earth. The orbit of Itokawa is also shown, as is the position of Hayabusa on August 29, 2009.
Credit: Image courtesy of JAXA.
[High-Res (114 kB)]
Approach Approach of Hayabusa, just after release of the sample return capsule, in an image by C. Waste and T. Thompson.
Credit: Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.
[High-Res (1.65 MB)]; [3D version (1.82 MB)]
Fireball The re-entry of the Stardust sample return capsule (January 2006). The hayabusa capsule will be followed by the main bus, creating a slew of fragments when it breaks.
Credit: Image NASA (M. Taylor, Utah State University)
[High-Res (2.89 MB)]; [Video]
video
Parachute The moment of parachute deployment at 10 km altitude in an artist rendering by A. Ikeshita. The parachute cover is ejected, the parachute deployed, while the heat shield falls to the ground.
Credit: Image (c) JAXA, Illustrated by A. Ikeshita [Image use permission]
[High-Res (247 kB)]
Landing Capsule descent after parachute deployment, in an image by C. Waste and T. Thompson.
Credit: Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.
[High-Res (0.80 MB)]; [3D version (1.03 MB)]

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Curator: Peter Jenniskens
Responsible NASA Official: Jay W. Grinstead

Last update: January 18, 2010


Hosted by: The SETI Institute

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