Failures Are Not an Option
June 10, 2010 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Trouble started soon into Hayabusa's treacherous round-trip journey to Itokawa when she lost her companion, Minerva. On arrival, she stumbled and dropped the sample she was sent to retrieve, and we thought the worst when she stopped calling. One accident left her disoriented and unable to find her way, and another reduced her progress to a slow limp. But on Sunday, with unfailing help from home, Hayabusa returns, three years late and seven years after she departed.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot (6 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Hard to believe that they've managed to get this little robot back to Earth despite nearly everything possible going wrong during the mission. That, alone, says a lot about human ingenuity and our little mechanical friends that we send out into space.
posted by hippybear at 8:32 AM on June 10, 2010

...our little mechanical friends...

Dude, they'd use you a battery if they could. Don't make friends with robots!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:54 AM on June 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was hoping this was about dogs.
posted by tula at 9:04 AM on June 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Dude, they'd use you [as] a battery if they could. Don't make friends with robots!"

I don't know, it might not be all that bad. We'd be really snappy dressers. And we'd know kung fu and stuff.
posted by Naberius at 9:17 AM on June 10, 2010

*crosses sensor instrumentation*
posted by dhartung at 8:13 PM on June 10, 2010

What an amazing story! It could make a great anime plot - the little space probe that was given up for dead, then re-established contact, then limped home on one engine, and burns up on re-entry, but the capsule with the asteroid dust manages to land in Australia. And all the scientists shed a tear for its brave sacrifice.

I find it cute that Japanese media and tweets are referring to Hayabusa as "Hayabusa-kun".
posted by needled at 5:51 PM on June 11, 2010

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