Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Sunday, November 27, 2005

  The falcon (hayabusa) has landed!

JAXA's space probe Hayabusa, after traveling 2 billion kilometers, weathering heavy solar flux, and suffering multiple glitches, including the failure of two of its three reaction wheels, and the loss of its lander, Minerva, has proven an old adage true:

If first you don't succeed, try, try again. Harder. According to JAXA, with the help of a communications array based in the US, Hayabusa successfully landed and collected samples of Itokawa on Saturday.

This is an unprecedented technical achievement. My hat is off to Hayabusa's science and engineering team, who successfully - after 4 prior attempts - refined their control software to make Hayabusa be able to land and take off again.

All that is left now is the long return journey back to earth. My prayers go out to this lonely probe to help will it home. Our knowledge of asteroids will be much enhanced thereby. Go Falcon!

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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
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Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
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