Thursday, 17 June 2010

Epic space odyssey ends in outback fireworks


Watch NASA's spectacular vision of the Hayabusa probe re-entering the Earth's
atmosphere at 12 kilometres per second before landing at Woomera

“THE seven-year, 5-billion-kilometre space odyssey of Japanese spaceship Hayabusa ended in the
red sand of the Australian outback yesterday, when a capsule that scientists
hope contains clues to the origin of our solar system touched down.

After streaking across the dark desert sky like a comet, the basketball-sized capsule, which researchers
hope contains asteroid dust, parachuted to South Australia's remote Woomera
while the 510 kilogram spaceship disintegrated in the Earth's atmosphere.

The spectacle, watched by hundreds of anxious scientists around the world, marked the first space landing
in Australia and the first time samples have been collected from the asteroid

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