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NASA aircraft to track spacecraft re-entry

A NASA flying observatory has left California on a mission to track a Japanese asteroid-sampling spacecraft as it returns to Earth on a course for Australia.



Palmdale: A NASA flying observatory has left California on a mission to track a Japanese asteroid-sampling spacecraft as it returns to Earth on a course for Australia.

NASA`s Dryden Flight Research Center says its DC-8 airborne lab left Palmdale Tuesday evening, carrying scientists from the US and Japanese space agencies and other
organisations.
The group will study the meteor-like plunge of the Hyabusa spacecraft, which visited the asteroid Itokawa during a seven-year mission and is carrying a capsule that may
contain a sample from the space rock.

The spacecraft will break up, but the capsule is targeted to land in Australia`s Woomera Prohibited Area at about 1400 GMT on Sunday.
Japanese controllers overcame major problems with Hyabusa`s ion engines and a loss of communications to put the craft on a return course.

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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