Japanese asteroid probe makes spectacular re-entry

Like a pre-mature 4th of July rocket in reverse, the Japanese Space Agency's Hyabusa spacecraft made a fiery re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere Sunday at the end of a seven-year space journey. While the probe's payload made a planned parachute landing in the Australian outback, its rocket body broke apart in the upper atmosphere, putting on a spectacular show for observers on the ground and aboard a NASA chase plane.

Japanese scientists expected to pick up the capsule today. Inside, they hope, are samples of the asteroid Itokawa, collected in 2005, and clues to the composition and physics of the early solar system.


Disclose.tv - Japan's Hayabusa capsule re-entry video Video

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad