November 28, 2005

New Scientist is carrying news that the long-suffering probe with the hard-to-remember name might have successfully completed its mission:

The Hayabusa spaceprobe has snatched samples from the asteroid Itokawa, according to JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The probe touched down at 0707 Japanese time (2207 GMT Friday) and its computer system shot a metal ball into the asteroid to drive up material for collection. The operation went "without failure", said JAXA official Yasunori Matoba, and the craft then took off again.

They won't know for sure until it gets back. Which is, of course, their next big trick. Keep your fingers crossed for June 2007, when the probe is scheduled to return.

Posted by scott at November 28, 2005 12:51 PM

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