Friday, November 25, 2005

Japanese Spacecraft Lands On Asteroid....Again!

Image hosted by
According to BBC News,

Japan's space agency says it believes its Hayabusa probe has become the first to collect samples from the surface of an asteroid.

The craft made a successful landing on the asteroid Itokawa and fired a small metal ball to loosen surface material for collection, the agency says.

But scientists will only be sure the probe picked up the loose matter in 2007, when Hayabusa return to Earth.

I don't know about you but this story convinces me of two things:

1. Modern technology is amazing and not limited to the United States, and

2. There is no need to send men and women to Mars when research and exploration can be done nearly as effectively, far more safely and much more inexpensively by unmanned space probes.

It is my opinion that the Japanese engineers that designed and built this asteroid mission have the "right stuff!"

I congratulate them and join them in hoping for a successful conclusion to the mission in 2007.