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NASA Astronomers To Observe Hayabusa's Fiery Homecoming

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the welcome-back-hotter dept.

NASA 142

coondoggie writes "NASA said that a group of its astronomers will have a front row seat in Australia to watch the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa's high-speed, fiery return to Earth. It is bringing with it a hunk of the asteroid Itokawa. The spacecraft is expected to land in an unpopulated area of Australia at approximately midnight locally, or 7 am PDT, on Sunday, June 13. Some 30 NASA astronomers will be flying onboard a specially equipped DC-8 with instruments that can monitor Hayabusa's reentry."

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Hayabusa! (4, Funny)

fishexe (168879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518340)

He will become the ninja dragon!

Hayab USA! (-1, Flamebait)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518984)

Please, someone tell me that no tax dollars are being spent to send 30 people of a sightseeing tour of Australia. From the article:

The team's primary goal during the airborne mission is to study the Hayabusa capsule's re-entry to gain technological insight into the heat shield that designers and engineers can use while developing future exploration vehicles.

Anyone want to count the number of re-entries which the US has had in the 50+ years of spaceflight? This must be the worst rationalization, EVAR! NASA can't even be honest and say that they're sending people and resources on a boondoggle.

Go on, mod me down, but I'm a taxpayer and this isn't what government should be spending my money on.

Re:Hayab USA! (2, Interesting)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519162)

Maybe they're using a new kind of heat shield and want to see how it performs. It's really expensive to get something massive up into space and accelerate it down into the atmosphere at a speed that would cause it to burn up; maybe they have to wait for occasions like this to get good data.

Re:Hayab USA! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519348)

Go on, mod me down, but I'm a taxpayer and this isn't what government should be spending my money on.

How about, "Fuck you. Get some priorities [costofwar.com] , moran."

Re:Hayab USA! (2, Funny)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519840)

I find your ideas intriguing, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter!

Re:Hayab USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32522996)

Your anger would be much more effective if you took 4 seconds to spell properly, moron.

Re:Hayab USA! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519358)

It's not like they're going to be sitting on beach towels here, they're going to be observing the inbound flight from an airborne lab on a DC-8 to record the condition of the returning probe as it penetrates the atmosphere. As far as I remember the reaction control system is dead so this thing will be coming in on a trajectory much like an asteroid. Except it's man made and carrying a cargo we're interested in. It was designed for controlled re-entry but since that's not possible this is a great opportunity to see what happens to spacecraft like this when bad things happen in the air.

What wouldn't be gained from observing and recording a piece of hardware like this as it falls through the atmosphere?

As a taxpayer, you should be more upset about your government bailing out auto-makers and becoming mired in costly foreign conflicts.

Re:Hayab USA! (-1, Troll)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519438)

As a taxpayer, you should be more upset about your government bailing out auto-makers and becoming mired in costly foreign conflicts.

Not really. Automakers at least produce something useful. NASA has developed Velcro, no, integrated circuits, uh, Teflon, no wait, uh, Tang. Yeah, that's it. All that money for Tang, which basically sucks. Orange Kool-Aid tastes better.

And, before someone provides some lame example of something which actually _was_ developed by NASA, it would have happened anyway - economics and the free market ensure that.

Re:Hayab USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519550)

And, before someone provides some lame example of something which actually _was_ developed by NASA, it would have happened anyway - economics and the free market ensure that.

The free market hasn't really produced much over the last 200 years, every big break through can be attributed to the public sector and not private industry.

Re:Hayab USA! (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519508)

Anyone want to count the number of re-entries which the US has had in the 50+ years of spaceflight?

Anyone want to count the number of re-entries from the far side of the Sun which the US has had in the 50+ years of spaceflight?

Re:Hayab USA! (1, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519738)

Anyone want to count the number of re-entries from the far side of the Sun which the US has had in the 50+ years of spaceflight?

...because the Earth's atmosphere extends beyond Sol, so that makes a really significant difference on re-entry.

(is the state of science education in the US really as bad as that comment indicates?)

Re:Hayab USA! (2, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32520638)

Don't think that coming in from 300,000 times the altitude is going to make a teeny-weeny bit of difference in the re-entry velocity? It's one thing to re-enter from orbit, but it's quite a different ball game to re-enter from an interplanetary trajectory. This bird will be coming in hot!

Re:Hayab USA! (1, Flamebait)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32521654)

Are you really an idiot, or just playing on on slashdot?

Re:Hayab USA! (4, Informative)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519650)

Considering they lost one of the shuttles and it's ENTIRE FUCKING CREW due to A HEAT SHIELD FAILURE, it seems that taking advantage of any available research opportunity into heat shielding is A GOOD IDEA!

Maybe you don't like NASA spending money on space.
After all, we don't know what gains we'll get from it.
Now that may be true, but then again, they've got a really good 'payback' rate, even if they aren't a profit center.
You like your cellphones, your satellite or cable tv, weather reports and warnings, tons of materials, medicine, maths, electronics, and so many other things you could write a book about it, and people have, you really should thank NASA. Their contributions to the total knowledge and even applications of that knowledge is absolutely huge and in almost all fields of endeavor. (Except porn, I really don't think NASA has done anything on human sexuality in space, but I'm not sure of that.)

So if you want to crawl back into your cave and ignore the contributions they made and ignore the even greater ones that can only come about if they are allowed to do that research you call "boondoggles", then just remember the reply Faraday gave when asked what use electricity was, he simply replied, "What use is a baby?".

Re:Hayab USA! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519830)

onsidering they lost one of the shuttles and it's ENTIRE FUCKING CREW due to A HEAT SHIELD FAILURE, it seems that taking advantage of any available research opportunity into heat shielding is A GOOD IDEA!

So, your argument is that NASA should throw good money after bad. It's much cheaper to avoid losing crews by simply not sending crews.

Re:Hayab USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32521094)

So, enjoy life in the caves.

Re:Hayab USA! (1)

ekrock (736908) | more than 4 years ago | (#32520788)

> I really don't think NASA has done anything on human sexuality in space

Actually, they sent a married couple of astronauts into space on the same shuttle together. No word on whether they conducted any zero-G research ...

Re:Hayab USA! (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32520922)

    I don't recall the NASA married couple, but I do remember reading that the Soviet Union did quite a few mixed-sex missions to see what could happen.

    I'm still waiting for the 0-G Kama Sutra to come out. I don't care if it's in Russian, I'd just be using it for the pictures anyways. :) "Hey sweetie, we haven't tried this position yet. Float upside down, and ....."

Re:Hayab USA! (2, Funny)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 4 years ago | (#32521034)

Float upside down, and ....
Uh, in 0-g, there is no "upside-down"

Re:Hayab USA! (2, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32521104)

    It's all relative. I'd assume relative to what would normally be the "floor" of the cabin. If not, relative to the other observer (but hopefully not a relative of the observer). You always have to establish some point of reference for direction, which I'd assume would be done sometime well before you tried to get freaky in space. :)

Re:Hayab USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32522206)

The enemy's gate is down !

Re:Hayab USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32523106)

Uh, in 0-g, there is no "upside-down"

Of course there is.

Remember, "The enemy's gate is down." Therefore, by putting your head toward the enemy gate, you're "upside-down"

Re:Hayabusa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32521834)

Special DC-8 I thought they all disappeared 74 trillion years ago :-o

Re:Hayabusa! (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32523734)

At first I thought someone had had some good fun with their motorcycle. The Suzuki gsxr-1300 (aka Hayabusa) is more motorcycle than you really need and I imagine it would only take a little bit of tweaking to get it to space.

Actually... (5, Informative)

fauxhemian (1281852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518374)

JAXA is not at all certain that it is bringing a "hunk" or much at all of Itokawa back with it. The firing mechanism which was meant to fire a bullet into the asteroid malfunctioned. They're just hoping it picked up enough residue. After the various mishaps this spacecraft encountered, it's been a good effort to get it home.

Re:Actually... (3, Funny)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518486)

But no matter what it brings back from Itokawa we can be certain that Godzilla will rise out of the dust of the Australian desert...

Re:Actually... (5, Funny)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518688)

But no matter what it brings back from Itokawa we can be certain that Godzilla will rise out of the dust of the Australian desert...

Especially as the piece of dust in the Australian desert they are talking about is the Woomera Prohibited Area. It is prohibited because of the high levels of radioactivity remaining from nuclear weapons testing. You couldn't script this better.

Re:Actually... (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519320)

You couldn't script this better.

Is that a challenge? We've got a number of very creative people on slashdot who would be happy to take you up on that.

Just some ideas on how things could get better:

The observation craft crashes in said desert, with the only survivors being the three very attractive but brainy female NASA scientists who unfortunately were slightly injured and had to tear the midriffs from their shirts in order to apply tourniquets to the pilot of the plane, who, despite their best efforts, expired on the desert flats -- but not before handing our intrepid heroines a jailbroken iPad with a map of a secret city in the desert.

The secret city, of course, is populated by mutants who are engaged in a war of factions between the aborigines and the whites. The whites have a technological advantage, but are really mean. The aborigines, however, reveal secrets to our heroines via a half-naked drug-addled walkabout whereupon it is discovered that the residue from the asteroid contains the last component to the ritual that awakens Croczilla from his dusty resting place and floods the desert, who upon awakening will be hungry for the other other white meat.

That's all I've got so far, I'm not sure how they'll keep Croczilla from destroying the opera house in Sydney. However, I'm quite sure it involves ridiculous sci-fi weapons and more toplessness of our heroines, and perhaps some beer.

Re:Actually... (1)

aevan (903814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32520230)

Given a choice between that or Letters from Juliet? Yeah, I'd see it. Root for the croc too

Re:Actually... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32520934)

    I think I saw that on the SciFi channel (err.. syfy) a while back. :) Well, except they didn't have iPads.

Re:Actually... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32521260)

I thought it involved feeding it Tom Jones. Or was that another sci-fi story?

Re:Actually... (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32522198)

... and perhaps some beer.

... and lots of beer.

There, fixed that for you. This is Australia we're talking about after all.

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32523144)

You couldn't script this better.

Is that a challenge? We've got a number of very creative people on slashdot who would be happy to take you up on that.

Good point. You should ask that guy who's been making a Filipino Horror Film in NYC for the last six years.

Re:Actually... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518490)

The firing mechanism which was meant to fire a bullet into the asteroid malfunctioned. They're just hoping it picked up enough residue.

True that. I wonder however, seeing as they are thinking that it's a tiny amount of residue rather than what they really wanted, whether it will be tainted on it's re-entry and landing process.

Not to mock their efforts, it's utterly amazing what they have done, and on what sort of budget, but I just hope that it doesn't go tits-up at the last moment for them with this - or worse yet, they do some research, and it ends up being called into doubt due to possible contamination.

Re:Actually... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518512)

Judging from publicity that the breakup gets this is probably the apogee of it's mission.

So many possibilities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518434)

Hayabusa, a specially equipped DC-8 space plane, where to begin making the jokes...

Re:So many possibilities... (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518660)

I guess here...?

Re:So many possibilities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32521004)

The Church of Scientology called. They aren't entertained with your assertion that their religion is a joke. Don't worry, I laughed for 10 minutes, and then hung up on them. Xenu himself called. I told him if he can't give me a ride off this rock, I'll keep laughing at him, and then I hung up on him too. Needless to say, I'm still here, watching my sub-etha signaling device for any signs of a way out of here.

    (psst. If you don't get the DC-8 or Xenu references, read a little here [wikipedia.org] . If you don't get the sub-etha signaling device reference, turn in your geek card on the way out the door.)

"unpopulated" (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518468)

There aren't many parts of the world that are unpopulated. And people do live in the bush in Australia. Just not many. That said, it'll take more than something falling from space to kill anyone who can rough it out there, since everything in the bush is deadly. Even the plants have it in for you.

Re:"unpopulated" (2, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518534)

"[...]it will land in the Woomera Prohibited Area in Australia."

As far as I can tell, any place with "prohibited area" in the name doesn't sound hospitable.

Re:"unpopulated" (2, Funny)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518574)

Any place called "prohibited area" in Australia must be a horrible, horrible place to live.

Re:"unpopulated" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519070)

Any place called "prohibited area" in Australia must be a horrible, horrible place to live.

The US embassy?

Re:"unpopulated" (4, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519318)

Indeed. It's a testing ground for various military purposes, and in the 1950s the British government tested nuclear weapons there.

However there is a (small) population there. The mailman has to use a helicopter because the area is the size of England.

Re:"unpopulated" (3, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519368)

Best. Mail. Job. Ever.

Re:"unpopulated" (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519516)

Not really: Woomera was a missile test range, and the dingoes have taken over the old SAM emplacements.

Re:"unpopulated" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32520470)

Maybe the dingo ate your mailman.

Re:"unpopulated" (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518588)

As far as I can tell, any place with "prohibited area" in the name doesn't sound hospitable.

Oh sure, just because the place is teeming with unexploded munitions, you think it's somehow less hospitable than most of the bush? Please -- it's more hospitable! I mean, there's signs of civilization in there and stuff...

Re:"unpopulated" (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518906)

As far as I can tell, any place with "prohibited area" in the name doesn't sound hospitable.

Oh sure, just because the place is teeming with unexploded munitions, you think it's somehow less hospitable than most of the bush? Please -- it's more hospitable! I mean, there's signs of civilization in there and stuff...

It was used for open air nuclear bomb tests for many years. Beliive me you don't want to go there.

Re:"unpopulated" (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519018)

See how it mutated him to have an extra eye?

Re:"unpopulated" (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518920)

Yes. Hayabusa makes it all the way back intact, only to land on a large, unexploded bomb.

Re:"unpopulated" (2, Funny)

Convector (897502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32523262)

It's just a name. Like the "Death Zone" or the "Zone of No Return". All the zones have names like that on the Continent of Terror.

Re:"unpopulated" (1)

isny (681711) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518576)

Well, if it isn't, it will be.

Re:"unpopulated" (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519130)

I don't think that 500 kilograms moving at supersonic speed are going to care how tough you are..

Re:"unpopulated" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519298)

That's a common misconception, since most people live in cities... Look at a map of the planet. Most of the surface is not populated.

You're obviously a city slicker. I guarantee you that you are about a 1 hour drive away from unpopulated nothingness.

Re:"unpopulated" (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32521062)

    There are an awful lot of people that can't imagine being so far away from anything that they can't see a building, person, or at least hear a car in the distance.

    Myself, I love places like that. The only car for 100 miles is the one I parked to go for a walk. The funny part about that is, I still lock the doors and set the alarm. :) It's a good idea to let someone know your starting GPS coordinates, and when you're expected to check in, and a set time to call for a search party. When you're 100 miles from anything, it can be a fun hour drive, or a 10 day walk, assuming you have enough food and water to keep you going. People don't consider that, when there's always a building within a few hundred feet of them.
 

Re:"unpopulated" (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32521490)

Heh you'd love Australia then. That describes most of the continent outside of the 10 or so main cities. Australians mostly live in a few large cities and there's not much in between them. You don't really get that continual patchwork of mid-sized towns and cities (50k-500k population) that you do in the US and Europe. You get a few huge metro areas (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide) with millions, a handful of mid-sized cities (e.g. Canberra/Newcastle/Wollongong/Gold Coast/Albury-Wodonga sized places) and a scattering of tiny towns, and that's about it.

And all of those are either on the coast or a small way inland (200 miles). If you cut out the very narrow coastal fringe, what's left of Australia (which would still be like 95% of the land area) would be almost completely unpopulated. There ain't nothin in the middle (population-wise).

Re:"unpopulated" (3, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32521452)

It is true that there aren't many parts of the world that are unpopulated. However, large tracts of Australia genuinely are. There are certain patches of Australia where it is likely that no human has ever set foot (yes, including Aborigines). There really are very few other places in the world that are as 'empty' as the interior of Australia. Antarctica obviously. And random areas of the Greenland ice cap. And not much else.

However in this case the area mentioned in the article is empty not because of its remoteness, but because it's a military reserve/testing ground. They did atmospheric nuclear testing there in the 50s. Non authorised personnel aren't allowed - so they can be reasonably confident it's 'unpopulated' for the purposes of the Hayabusa landing.

wrong hayabusa (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518476)

i'd rather watch gary rothwell's hayabusa [garyrothwell.com]

Re:wrong hayabusa (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32522266)

I'm glad we got a mention of a *real* Hayabusa on /.

Hayabusa's Back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518482)

Now we can finally have Ninja Gaiden 4 on the NES!!!

any contagion worries? (3, Interesting)

laggist (784355) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518518)

Being the avid Sci-fi fan that I am, I can't help but wonder if the the people who made the choice of landing of Hayabusa in an unpopulated outback of Australia gave any thought to the idea that the asteroid Itokawa may be a source of biological contaminants?

What I'm saying is, Hayabusa lands in the heart of unpopulated Australia, then a small town in the area gets ravaged by "bio-terror", then the military issues a media blackout.. You know, the standard plot of a zombie outbreak ensues..

I can't be the only one who thought of this scenario.. Does anyone else think the same as me? Discuss!

tl;dr - Choice of remote Australian outback for Hayabusa to stem contagion fears in case of zombie outbreak?? Discuss.

Re:any contagion worries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518730)

Andromeda Strain.

Re:any contagion worries? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518880)

then a small town in the area

Andromeda Strain.

Adelaide!

Re:any contagion worries? (1)

ekrock (736908) | more than 4 years ago | (#32520808)

See also "Life Force" for a closely related scenario (and the bonus benefit of seeing certifiably the Worst Patrick Stewart Movie Ever).

Re:any contagion worries? (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519116)

I can't be the only one who thought of this scenario.. Does anyone else think the same as me?

Yes [imdb.com] .

Re:any contagion worries? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 4 years ago | (#32520886)

I've never really got how "viruses from space" would be particularly dangerous. Viruses and germs and such didn't get dangerous by accident- they're highly evolved, highly specialised, purpose built to infect their hosts.

How adapted is something from another world, with completely alien biology, likely to be for infecting humans and other animals?

Re:any contagion worries? (2, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32521088)

      It would be dumb luck. Something that existed somewhere else in the universe that thrived, can handle living in space, and could infect those pesky mammals that think they own the earth.

    If the panspermia theory is correct, that wouldn't be all that questionable. Well, if across the span of the entire universe, a rock happened to be tossed into space, that happened to have a virus, that happened to be able to survive to the earth, that happened to infect a mammal host before it died off.

    I think we have bigger concerns than space viruses, unless it's for the plot of a scifi movie/show/book. :)

Re:any contagion worries? (1)

juhaz (110830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32522630)

There are quite a few opportunistic pathogens that are non-specialized, eg. soil bacteria that are normally free-living but if you're exposed with a weakened immune system or manage to get them into a wound, you may be in trouble. I imagine some space bugs might be dangerous in similar way, but indeed, spreading like wildfire from people to people is a mere fantasy - unless it's genetically engineered by the Evil Aliens(TM), of course.

"High Speed Dirt" (2, Insightful)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518542)

"See the earth below,
Soon to make a crater!
Blue sky, black death,
I’m off to meet my maker!"

Re:"High Speed Dirt" (-1, Offtopic)

bit9 (1702770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519104)

Only on Slashdot can you get modded "Insightful" for quoting lyrics from a Megadeth song.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm about to get modded "0, Troll" for daring to question the wisdom of the moderators, but so be it. Do your worst!

Re:"High Speed Dirt" (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519708)

Only on Slashdot could a guy who had the Comedian Tag try to get it back by being funny and get modded insightful.

Likewise, only on Slashdot could someone get their angst on by begging the moderators to mod them Troll for challenging them over that same try at being a comedian.

Re:"High Speed Dirt" (1)

bit9 (1702770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32520830)

No worries, I realized you were just trying to be funny. I've got no gripe with that. I'm not "getting my angst on" though. Not even sure I know what that means. I'm too old to have "angst" anyway. And besides, I happen to like that Megadeth song. :)

It's a Japanese space probe. (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 4 years ago | (#32521810)

You'll need to come up with a haiku.

Re:It's a Japanese space probe. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32522124)

See the earth below,
A crater, and the earth turns black.
St Paul needs more staff.

Any More info On Trajectory? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518558)

Does anyone know if there is more information? I.e. Which side of Australia will it approach from and a more exact time? I'll be a couple of hours out of Sydney and would like to know if it will be observable. A quick search around NASA's website and Google didn't reveal anything helpful.

Re:Any More info On Trajectory? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518698)

I'd give you an answer, but it'll come in the opposite direction, seeing as it's Australia.

Re:Any More info On Trajectory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518704)

Which side of Australia will it approach from

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it will approach from the top side.

Re:Any More info On Trajectory? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518826)

You would have to be at Woomera to have a hope of seeing anything.

Trajectory Information (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518840)

Hmmm... hate to answer my own question, but the details of the trajectory are here: http://www.isas.jaxa.jp/e/enterp/missions/hayabusa/trj.shtml#new
Looks like Western Australia should get a glimpse as it flies past, although I don't think you'd see it from Perth - would have to be a fair bit north of there I'd imagine... maybe somewhere in between Carnarvon and Karratha?

Yahoo anyone? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518922)

I'm sure Yahoo has the answer to that. Just ask this guy [youtube.com] .

Poor Australia (1)

euyis (1521257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518756)

First the Americans, then the Japanese...

Re:Poor Australia (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518868)

No, first the Dutch, then the British...

Home again! (4, Interesting)

joh (27088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518790)

In case you haven't followed that drama you should do that now [wikipedia.org] . Keeping that bird in control, managing it to do some science and finally getting it back was seriously heroic by JAXA. This was easily the most problem-ridden probe ever making it back (well, almost now). I hope the last leg of that epic journey will go well.

Re:Home again! (4, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518822)

Though I recall that when the vehicle bounced off the asteroid the operators had no idea whether it had collected material from the surface and it is likely they still don't know.

Re:Home again! (2, Informative)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519696)

Yesterday I came across a really neat English-sub version of a Japanese trailer, which I'm guessing is for a documentary about Hayabusa's dramatic journey. It's definitely worth a watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsQp9Zey27Y [youtube.com]

There's also a much more surreal Japanese video depicting a cartoon version of Hayabusa as a cat with solar panel wings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0Ey3dNeCeM [youtube.com]

As I don't speak/read Japanese I'm not really sure what's happening in it though, other than that it's very strange.

Re:Home again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32520268)

This was easily the most problem-ridden probe ever making it back (well, almost now). I hope the last leg of that epic journey will go well.

I respect the Asian's to deliver something like this in a fraction of NASA's budget.

I would love to be there (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518802)

Its a 24 hour drive to Woomera, and from Saturday I will actually be allowed to drive again. But medically its just a really bad idea to spend two whole days on the road right now. It would be great to be close to the landing (or crash, or splat) but in reality I would just spend a few hours waiting at the road block with binoculars stuck to my eys, then turn around and go home.

You can tell, we don't see space craft very often in .au

Humph. (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518986)

The Japanese will probably just get fined for littering.

Re:Humph. (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519002)

The Japanese will probably just get fined for littering.

We haven't had much luck fining them for killing whales so I don't like our chances with this one.

Astronomers? (3, Funny)

Oscar_Wilde (170568) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518990)

NASA astronomers will be flying onboard a specially equipped DC-8

Sure, right.

We all know that when they say "astronomers" they really mean Xenu.

We all know that when they say "DC-8"s the really mean space ships that look exactly like DC-8s.

Don't be fooled people! It's all happening again!

Interplanetary re-entry (4, Informative)

l2718 (514756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519004)

There's an important point to the re-entry process, separate from the asteroid sample: the craft will be coming at interplanetary speed (about escape velocity from Earth) -- is much faster than typical re-entries from Earth-orbit. Seeing if the heat-shielding technology will work is important for future missions around the solar system.

Re:Interplanetary re-entry (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519208)

There's an important point to the re-entry process, separate from the asteroid sample: the craft will be coming at interplanetary speed (about escape velocity from Earth) -- is much faster than typical re-entries from Earth-orbit. Seeing if the heat-shielding technology will work is important for future missions around the solar system.

Yeah I suppose so but the Galileo entry probe entered Jupiter at 45km/s or so and it survived okay. Designing a heat shield is really just a question of how much energy vs how thick to make it.

Re:Interplanetary re-entry (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32522608)

Seeing if the heat-shielding technology will work is important for future missions around the solar system.

Unless they're using some radically new heatshielding materials (which I haven't heard of), not really. Heatshielding is a fairly well understood technology and surviving faster reentries is pretty much just a matter of a having a thicker shield.

Wonder if the Japanese are gonna pay faster (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519052)

It took the US 30 years and a fundraiser to pay for the littering of Skylab [wikipedia.org] . Hope the Japanese are less of a bunch of deadbeats.

This is a $cientology conspiracy! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519158)

They're using DC-8s, man! That and the fiery reentry is supposed to make us remember about our Thetan past.

Wait... (2, Funny)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519592)

The spacecraft is expected to land in an unpopulated area of Australia

Australia is populated?

Skylab? (1)

ben_kelley (234423) | more than 4 years ago | (#32520988)

The spacecraft is expected to land in an unpopulated area of Australia

Sorry, but Australia has heard that story before. At least NASA finally paid the littering fine.

a busa's ground speed (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 4 years ago | (#32523712)

on premium unleaded is AMAZING. I can't wait to see how fast one is with space technology for an engine!

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