Hayabusa Re-Entry airborne observing campaign.

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 during fast Mars-like hypervelocity entries of spacecraft. Hayabusa Re-entry MAC is an international multi-instrument aircraft campaign, sponsored by NASA and in close collaboration with JAXA and the University of Southern Queensland, to measure the physical conditions during the 12.2 km/s entry of the Hayabusa Sample Return Capsule over Australia, in June of 2010.
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TCM May 12, 2010 - Hayabusa Re-Entry MAC instrument P.I. Hans Nielsen just returned from Europe and described the incredible sight of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which he passed at about 100 miles. Air traffic is diverted around iceland and periodic disruptions to air traffic have caused delays. We keep our fingers crossed that this will not affect our European participants. Photo shows activity at noon on May 8 and is by Gunnar B. Guomundsson (courtesy Iceland Met Office).


May 10, 2010 - Yesterday, Hayabusa celebrated it's 7th birthday. Thrust Maneuver Correction 1 (TMC-1) was successfully completed at 11:57 am on May 4 (JST). The picture above is courtesy of JAXA. JAXA has opened a website "Hayabusa - the final approach". [More here]

May 09, 2010 - Science magazine story features Paul Abell. [Science magazine feature story on Hayabusa]

Instrument tests

May 07, 2010 - Peter Jenniskens completed the laboratory calibration tests for the Echelle instrument at the SETI Institute. At the other end of the darkened room, Michael Winter created a light 365 inches from the instrument that looked similar to that of the entering Hayabusa capsule.

FIPS ready to be shipped

May 05, 2010 - The FIPS and TERAS instruments are ready to be shipped. They are due at DOAF in Palmdale on May 14. Here (from left to right), Stefan Loehle (instrument P.I.), Thomas Marynowski (camera operator), and Andreas Mezger (a graduate student) of Stuttgart University in Germany close the lid on the FIPS, ready to be shipped. Before shipment, the instrument was calibrated in the laboratory. Update: both instruments are in the mail.

May 04, 2010 - The Hayabusa Re-Entry MAC flight readiness review was completed at NASA Ames Research Center. An overview of the mission was given by Jay Grinstead, Peter Jenniskens, Frank Cutler, Michael Winter, and Alan Cassell. Representatives of six NASA centers participated in the review, led by Nans Kunz of NASA Ames Research Center.

May 03, 2010 - Hayabusa return T-shirts are being offered by the Planetary Society. More here

CCO team April 30, 2010 - Readying for Hayabusa's Return. Participant Kelly Beatty reports on preparing for the upcoming return of Hayabusa. In the picture to the right (courtesy of Ron Dantowitz of Clay Center Observatory) are, from left to right, James Breitmeyer, Yiannis Karavas, and Brigitte Berman, students at the Dexter and Southfield Schools in Brookline, Massachusetts, testing the camera setup that will be used in the airborne observations More here.

April 26, 2010 - There are more challenges ahead. In this final leg of the long journey of Hayabusa are a series of course corrections to bring it close to Earth. [More here]

April 23, 2010 - Watch this:
- Video "The Great Challenges of HAYABUSA - World's first asteroid sample return mission" - documentary.
- Video "Megurine Luka sings Hayabusa (Parody song of Vostok2+)" - sing along.

April 22, 2010 - Funds have arrived at the NASA Dryden Aircraft Operation Facility and the Hayabusa Re-Entry MAC Flight Request was approved by NASA HQ.

April 21, 2010 - The capsule is scheduled to return to the Earth in June 2010. According to the latest information, the capsule will reenter into the atmosphere at around 14:00 UTC on June 13th, 2010, at the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia , according to a press release issued by JAXA.

April 21, 2010 - The Australian Ministry of Defense issued a press release today saying that Australian authorities will assist the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in ensuring a safe return for Hayabusa. Approval for the Hayabusa landing has been progressed by several Australian government agencies. The landing is scheduled to occur in Woomera in June.
[Courier Mail] ; [Adelaide Now] ; [News.com.au] ; [The Daily Telegraph] ; [Brisbane Times] ; [Space Boomerang]

April 20, 2010 - Shinsuke Abe, part of the JAXA ground observing team, speaks at the Meteor Orbit Determination workshop 3 at ESA/ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. [More here]

April 15, 2010 - California State University East Bay professor Chris Kitting will support the airborne observations of the Hayabusa re-entry. [More here]

entry sequence

April 12, 2010 - Hayabusa has successfully completed the first trajectory course correction to aim it towards the 200-km altitude point (TCM-0). The spacecraft is currently in the constellation Gemini, close to the star Pollux. [More here]

CCO fit check YURI night

April 8, 2010 - The mission patch is delivered! Participating researchers who met at NASA Ames to celebrate Yuri's Night on April 9 and 10, were the first to wear the new patch. The photo shows SETI Institute volunteers David Holman, Mike Koop, and Rick Rairden ready to explain the artificial an natural entry of meteoroids in Earth's atmosphere to the general public. Not in this picture are Michael Winter, Chris Kitting, Jim Albers, and Peter Jenniskens.

Mar 30, 2010 - The contract between NASA Ames and the SETI Institute is in place. Hotel arrangments have been made in Melbourne and Hawaii.

Hayabusa track

Mar 27, 2010 - On March 27, at 6:17 UTC, the ion engines were stopped. Hayabusa now has reached an orbit that brings it close enough to Earth for the final thruster maneuvers. The Hayabusa team has sucessfully shifted the spacecraft's approach trajectory from the day side to the night side of Earth [More here]

Mar 16-19, 2010 - Flight Readinesss Review Hayabusa Re-Entry, at ISAS, Tokyo, Japan. For the Hayabusa Re-Entry MAC, Jay Grinstead and Peter Jenniskens were participating in this meeting. All members of the Hayabusa Re-Entry Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign and its associated ground-based observers were accepted as Associate Members to the Hayabusa Joint Science Team. Dr. Kazuhisa Fujita is the JST Team Lead for the entry observing effort.

Mar 11, 2010 - Hayabusa has now entered the fine-tuning part of the approach trajectory. Early this week, the ion engines were stopped to determine the precise location and velocity vector. The closest approach is now about 13 million km. Shortly, the trajectory will be further adjusted and targeted to approach to a distance of 200 km above Earth's surface at the limb of the Earth. [More here]

CCO fit check

Mar 10, 2010 - RED1 and WISP Instrument P.I. Ron Dantowitz and Brian Lula traveled with one of the Clay Center's CNC-machined payload carriers from Boston to Dryden to do a fit-check on the DC-8. Dantowitz wrote: "We spent four hours on the aircraft setting up and adjusting the mounts, taking measurements of the windows, the floor-based mounting rails, and optimizing the placement of the payloads at the windows. The payload carriers are designed to have a pivot point close to the surface of the window to maximize the unvignetted field of view from +/- 45 degrees azimuth and -30 to +60 degrees of elevation. The DC-8 fit-check with the actual flight hardware was extremely valuable, as we identified several changes to our instrument mountings that will be required. For example, a floor-mounted access panel at approximately station 500 that did not show up on the DC-8 floor plan will require us to redesign the support base to preserves crew access. We are fabricating a truss support that ties into the two floor tracks and will be rigidly bolted to the frame of the aircraft. Each platform will support an optical breadboard which will support the CNC instrument carrier. The payload has encoders on both axes that allow a computer to record the pointing position of the mount."

Mar 9, 2010 - Team and instrument list finalized. Later this week, the ground-based crew in support of Hayabusa Re-Entry MAC will also be defined.

Feb 10, 2010 - Fuel costs dictate that we will deploy from Melbourne. Melbourne also has an airport that is significantly outside of the city center, so that we can deploy during night-time hours. Melbourne is about 80 minutes from the observing site.

Feb 1, 2010 - JAXA and NASA mission managers are meeting at JPL in a 2-day meeting to discuss the Hayabusa reentry and the reentry observations. NASA JPL/Caltech is providing support with data down and up link. Hayabusa is doing well. If the ion engines run correctly until the end of March, then the trajectory will have been adjusted sufficiently to enable trusting manouvers for re-entry in June.

Hayabusa track

Jan 14, 2010 - JAXA announced today that Hayabusa is now on a path to enter Earth's gravity sphere in June. The Figure shows how the orbit is gradually changed by the continuously running ion engines. The red line is the final trajectory aimed for. Figure: Courtesy of JAXA. [More here]

DAOF visitJan 7, 2010 - Instrument P.I. David Buttsworth (University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba), NASA project manager Jay Grinstead (NASA Ames), and Principal Investigator Peter Jenniskens (SETI Institute), from left to right, met with DC-8 aircraft operators at the NASA Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility at Palmsdale, California, to start the preparations for the Hayabusa SRC Entry observing campaign. Photo: Frank Cutler.

Jan 4, 2010 - David Buttsworth presented a paper "Expansion Tunnel Radiation Experiments to Support Haybusa Re-entry Observations" at the 48th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting in Orlando, Florida. [AIAA paper]

Dec 6-7, 2009 - Participating researchers are meeting at the University of Khartoum, Sudan, to discuss research into the origin and nature of asteroid 2008 TC3, which crashed in the Nubian desert in Northern Sudan on October 7, 2008. Two months after the crash, meteorites were recovered by students and staff of the University, during a dedicated search on December 6. Now, one year after this find, scientists will share their results with the students and will compare data, in search of understanding the nature and origin of the ureilite parent body in the asteroid belt. Following a 2-day workshop, the scientists return to the field in an attempt to increase the diversity of the recovered meteorites. More here.

Nov. 19, 2009 - Still alive. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been studying measures to deal with the anomaly detected in one of the ion engines aboard the Asteroid Explorer "HAYABUSA" as reported on November 9, 2009. As a result, the project team has come up with a recovery operation plan, and the project decided to resume the operations, while carefully watching the status of the ion engines. The project team has concluded the spacecraft can maintain the current return cruise schedule back to the earth around June of 2010, if the new engines configuration continues to work as planned. More here.

Nov. 09, 2009 - After a glitch last week, Hayabusa has lost another ion engine, now having only one working engine remaining. The failed engine "D" was operating since February and was expected to continue operation until March 2010 in order to reach Earth by June of 2010. Officials are now evaluating the possible return course. No word yet if this excludes a June 2010 return of Hayabusa. More here.

Nov 04, 2009 - Dr. David Buttsworth of the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba, a hypersonics researcher, is to lead an Australian observing team during the Hayabusa SRC reentry MAC mission. Buttsworth uses spectrometers on a regular basis to investigate radiating hypersonic flows in air, Titan and other atmospheres in the X2 expansion tunnel of the University.

Oct 28, 2009 - Mission scientists are meeting at the C.E.A.S. meeting in Manchester, U.K., to discuss the results from the ATV reentry observing campaign.

Sep. 23, 2009 - NASA has allocated funding for an airborne mission involving NASA's DC-8 Airborne Laboratory. Jay Grinstead at NASA Ames has been assigned project manager for the Hayabusa Reentry MAC mission. Today's coordination meeting at NASA Ames discussed past missions and the new Hayabusa SRC Reentry Observing Camapign.

June 11, 2009 - JAXA and NASA will use the approaching Hayabusa spacecraft as a way to test tracking methods for small asteroid impacts. NASA and ESA are providing JAXA with tracking support. The spacecraft will be observed by ground-based telescopes prior to impact. [More here]

March 29, 2009 - ATV reentry workshop at ESA/ESTEC. Observing team meets and discusses results from ATV-1 "Jules Verne" MAC. Tetsuya Yamada presents an overview of Hayabusa SRC entry preparations.

February 4, 2009 - The ion engine of Hayabusa was re-ignited to start the return to Earth maneuver. From April to June of 2010, pointing maneuvers are planned, to bring back the capsule (and space ship) in June of 2010 [More here]

JPL meeting December 11, 2008 - Hayabusa SRC entry observing campaign coordination meeting at JPL. The photo (left) shows front to back: Tetsuya Yamada (reentry system), Hitoshi Kuninaka (Ion Engines); Masanao Abe (Near-IR spectrometer); Junichiro Kawaguchi (Project Manager); Makoto Yoshikawa (Science). [Note added: The Hayabusa project team members were among the first to learn about the newly recovered fragments of asteroid 2008 TC3 in northern Sudan.] Photo: Peter Jenniskens.

October 29, 2008 - JAXA reports that the first phase of trajectory maneuver operations have finished and the spacecraft is now put in spin-stabilized state.

April 14, 2008 - Hayabusa is oriented in the wrong direction for capsule release. Engineers are working to put the spacecraft in the right orientation. Communication with the spacecraft, too, depends on the correct orientation of the spacecraft. Project maganer Jun'ichiro Kawaguchi is most concerned about the one remaining reaction wheel. [More here]

April 25, 2007 - Hayabusa's attitude control was re-established in order to align th ion engine thrust vector. Only one of the reaction wheels is still functioning. No fuel remains to divert the main spacecraft away from Earth, so both capsule and spacecraft will enter nearly at the same time. [More here]

Jan 17, 2007 - The sample-catcher was transfered into the capsule and sealed successfully. [More here]

Jan 23, 2006 - Contact restored with Hayabusa.

Jan 15, 2006 - Stardust sample return capsule enters Earth's atmosphere over Nevada and Utah in night time conditions. Observations very successful. [More here].

Landing SiteDecember 1, 2005 - Hayabusa departs from Itokawa. A fuel leak shortly after second touch down meant that the engines could not be used for attitude control. A solar flare on December 8 affected attitude and contact was lost. Contact was restored on January 23, 2006. This caused 3 year delay of sample return until June of 2010. [More here]

November 20, 2005 - Hayabusa's first attempt to collect a sample. Spacecraft detects an obstruction and attempt is aborted. Spacecraft bounces twice and lands on surface and stays there for 30 minutes. Second sample collection effort attempted on November 25 proceeds as planned, but no confirmation whether or not the bullet has fired. Brief 1-second touch down of funnel.

May 30, 2005 - JAXA's capsule retreival team has site survey trip to the future landing site in Southern Australia. Photo: Tetsuya Yamada.

Sep 08, 2004 - The Genesis sample return capsule enters Earth's atmosphere and is observed from aircraft. The first such thermal protection system field test in a proposed sequence of three upcoming sample return missions: Genesis (2004), Stardust (2006), and Hayabusa (2007). Daytime entry conditions make the observations very difficult. High hopes for Stardust and Hayabusa, which are expected to enter during night time.

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

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