Some photos from the original Hayabusa landing at Woomera.
Its little aerodynamic capsule with a parachute. Plenty of room in South Australia to more or less randomly land a little spacecraft.
Is the bomb squad stuff for potentially undetonated pyros?
Yes thats possible. They do seem to be doing some electrical work, maybe isolating the explosive devices.
This thing looks like a couple of itty bitty aliens are going to pop out of it with a message of peace and/or galactic conquest.
I sure hope that it goes better than the Genesis sample return probe landing in 2004. Seeing that thing smack into the mud was a pretty disappointing conclusion to the mission, although I guess it could have been worse after an uncontrolled fall from space.
Watching the animation at the end, I really have to wonder at the overengineering in that design. They have a parasail, and a scheme to catch it in mid air, when they could have used a conventional parachute and let it land normally.
Yeah, I think their goal was to keep it as clean as possible and also avoid shock loading due to the nature of the samples. If the helicopter missed but all else worked, it still would have glided down with the parachute. I think I remember hearing that the failure of the chute was due to someone installing an accelerometer upside down.
As nutty as that sequence seems, it’s definitely not unprecedented. That’s pretty much exactly how the US retrieved canisters of film that were dropped from our early spy satellites, and apparently that usually worked out fine.
Whenever I hear of space probes returning to Earth, my mind automatically switches to “Night of the Living Dead”.
Or The Andromeda Strain.
Thats ok just don’t land it near an outback town with a doctor who doesn’t know to leave engineering to the engineers.
To Serve Man: Snack Size Edition?
Awful nice of you guys to let JAXA use the Outback as a catcher’s mitt.
Oh thats okay we did it for skylab as well.
Yeah, and the debris almost hit Captain Invincible when it came down.
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