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    Hayabusa may yet land on asteroid

    Ooh! This is cool:

    A Japanese space probe successfully landed and then departed from the surface of an asteroid 290 million kilometers (180 million miles) from Earth, despite an initial announcement that the attempt had failed, Japan’s space agency said.

    JAXA officials had said on Sunday that the Hayabusa probe, on a mission to briefly land on the asteroid Itokawa, collect material, and then bring it back to Earth, had failed to touch down after maneuvering within meters (yards) of the asteroid’s surface.

    However, on Wednesday JAXA said that data sent from Hayabusa confirmed that it had landed on the asteroid on Sunday for about half an hour. However, the probe failed to collect material, JAXA said.

    The Hayabusa is making a go-round and will attempt a second landing.

    2 Responses to “Hayabusa may yet land on asteroid”

    1. Portia says:

      Oh, that would be soooo cool. Fingers crossed.


    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Yeah, no kidding. They haven’t had such a great track record lately, and if they can maneuver this one into landing and actually bringing back its samples, it’ll be good for morale.

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