Hayabusa – the search for rock

Following yesterday’s dramatic return to Earth of JAXA’s Hayabusa asteroid sample return mission, the look backs have begun. Discovery have published a retrospective of the seven year mission. NASA Ames on the other hand have posted a processed version of the view from their DC-8 tracking plane on their youtube channel:

That thing streaking away at the end is the sample return capsule, which JAXA has now recovered intact, according to the BBC. Their search helicopter located the beacon after it landed and returned in the daylight hours for the thing itself. They found it with its parachute and also its ejected heat shields.

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