Finderchart for Hayabusa capsule re-entry online

June 8, 2010 | By | Add a Comment
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Update (13 June 2010): I have added a new post here containing information on how to watch the re-entry of the sample capsule live on the WWW tonight.

Update (10 June 2010): I have just found a very useful 12 page media release pack on the Hayabusa mission and its landing in the Australian outback.

Origional blog

With only five days to go, the Japanese Space Agency JAXA has updated the Hayabusa website so that you know where to look in the night sky for the fireball created by the Hayabusa capsule as it plunges to Earth. There is a catch. You will need to be in outback South Australia.

Finderchart for returning capsule for residents of Glendambo, South Australia. The fireball is expected to reach magnitude -5. Thats approximately twice as Venus appears to the unaided eye in the evening twilight at present. Image courtesy JAXA.

The capsule is due to land at the Woomera Prohibited Area (to the East of Glendambo (see below map)) in South Australia at 11.30pm this Sunday (13 June 2010). My first responce was where the …. is Glendambo? Thanks to Google Maps, I quickly found the answer.

Glendambo location map. Image copyright Google Maps.

Hayabusa was launched aboard the M-V Launch Vehicle on May 9,2003. It was accelerated by a swing-by of the Earth in May 2004 and reached its target Asteroid Itokawa on September 12,2005, after traveling about 2 billion kilometers. in September and October that year, “HAYABUSA” completed the most remote-sensing and measurement of the geometry of Itokawa and made two landings in November to collect a sample from Itakawa. Technical problems prevented the spacecraft from return to Earth until now. Text from JAXA’s Hayabusa website.

And if you are travelling to see the re-entry, make sure you get to Glendambo before 10pm. According to the ABC News website, part of the Stuart Highway between Cooper Pedy and Glendambo will be closed between 10 pm and Midnight the same night.

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