Hayabusa Thruster Update

It looks like JAXA has got the thruster problem under control for the moment, although that’s partly because of the fact that they’ve put the spacecraft into safe mode.

RogueEngineer gives a translation of part of the press conference saying:

When we switched to the main system from the backup system and started the thruster operation, the same problem occured. Due to the attitude change, the probe automatically switched to the safe mode. After that, we controlled the valve to stop the leakage.

Because of the leakage incident, we are not able to see the detail of sampling yet. However, the sequence of the onboarded computer is confirmed to have executed normally. We expect the touchdown attitude was good, but we’ll have to wait for the completion of data downloading for definite answer.

Mr 5thstar translates another part of the press conference about the impact of this problem on getting Hayabusa back safely.

Fuji Sankei Business Eye: What are the impacts to the returning home?

Kawaguchi: We realize it is very critical. It depends on how we examine the situation.

Good luck everyone!