Itokawa attained on Ion Propulsion

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Hank
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Itokawa attained on Ion Propulsion

Post by Hank » Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:30 pm

Hello-The orbit maneuver of HAYABUSA spacecraft was handed over from the ion engines to the bi-propellant thrusters on August 28 JST.

After the solar conjunction the microwave discharge ion engines were turned on again at the end of July and accelerated with their full throttling so as to approach to the target. At the end of August HAYABUSA stays 4,800km (3,000 mi.) apart from Asteroid ITOKAWA and is still closing it at 32km/h (20 mph) velocity with the ion engines off.

HAYABUSA asteroid explorer, launched on May 9 2003, has executed the orbit maneuver using the microwave discharge ion engines, which established 25,800 hours the total numbers of space operational time to generate 1,400m/s delta-V with 22kg (49 lb) xenon propellant. One of four engines marked the accumulated operational time 10,400 hours.

The ion engines accomplished two-thirds of the orbit maneuver in the round-trip space mission. Hereafter HAYABUSA will brake down and keep the gate position 20km (12 mi.) above Asteroid ITOKAWA by the bi-propellant thrusters.

Hank
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Location: Florida, USA

re: Itokawa attained on Ion Propulsion

Post by Hank » Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:47 pm

Hello- Still more info on the continuing saga of the Itokawa probe.

Hayabusa arrived Itokawa on 10:00 am, 12 Sep (JST: Japanese Standard Time). Now Hayabusa hovers around 20 kilometers away from asteroid Itokawa.

This picture was taken at 8:35 am, 12 Sep (JST) just before the settlement by the visible imager AMICA. Field of view is two degrees. The photo shows contrast of rocky and hilly region and smooth area, which may suggest the origin of this asteroid. This feature may be a key to consider Itokawa’s origin and evolution. The scientific observation will be conducted for about two months including sampling and topographic measurement.

The attached photo is somewhat simular in form to what washes up on the beach after the whales go by.

Regards, Hank
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Hayabusa Target.jpg
Space Whale sign?
Hayabusa Target.jpg (5.17 KiB) Viewed 1567 times
Hayabusa Target.jpg
Hayabusa Target.jpg (5.17 KiB) Viewed 1567 times

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