Friday, July 2, 2010

Fantastic Future Friday: Out of Failure

Hayabusa space probe might not have returned with solid samples of an asteroid but it is still an achievement in space technology.

The idea behind the probe was to have the parts build by several Japanese firms pushing the edge of technologies each individual firm thinks it can make a market for in commercial spaceflight.

The entire mission was a test for many new technologies with science being the lucky recipient if things went right. Using all these new technologies at the same time things were expected to go wrong, and they did. But enough things went right that they were able to bring at least some vapor from the asteroid back to Earth to study.

If you look at it as a test flight for all these new technologies it was really successful as these companies can pull out there plans and see what went wrong and fix those for JAXA’s 2nd Hayabusa mission to test an asteroid for water and organic matter. That way entirely new things can go wrong.

As scientists experiment more with Ion engines they will get more reliable and can be used for more and more space missions, and that will lead to a fantastic future.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

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