The Hayabusa spacecraft landed in the Australian outback on June 13, after a seven-year space journey. It is the hope of JAXA, Japan's space agency, that the capsule Hayabusa is carrying contains a sample taken from asteroid Itokawa. If so, this will be the first sample of asteroid material ever returned to Earth by a space mission.
Now, the process of opening the capsule to see what's inside has begun.
The presence of a low-pressure gas inside the capsule has already been detected, the agency is reporting. The nature of the gas, and whether it's of extraterrestrial origin, has not yet been determined.
The opening of the capsule is expected to take a week or more, though JAXA has not stated whether this is due to prudence on the part of the scientists or simply being unable to pry the darn package open.
think i have seen this in a movie, or it should be a movie...the gas is an airborne virus.
The people in the picture... I can tell... are already ZOMBIES!
The asteroid farted in the capsule... not much science involved in figuring that one out!!!!
Its District 9, i think its called. In South Africa. Dude gets sprayed with alien stuff and starts turning into run of the aliens
I can understand taking the precaution of wearing a HazMat suit. We've all probably read or watched "Andromeda Strain".
But can someone please explain why body armor was also needed? Was the probe expected to transform into a miniature robot and start shooting?
@MarcusM: No, but there's always the chance that the capsule has lost some integrity, in which case it could possibly explode. The armor is most likely protection from possible shrapnel.
-IMP ;) :)
I'm pretty sure those are lead lined suits to protect against radiation.
Oh no.... the zombie epidemic is starting from this!!!!
Maybe they are just being cautious not to let the Blog, genie or LGM (Little Green Martians)get out of the capsule?
I don't write the lies. I just translate them.
Body armor + radiation protection + hazmat suit = Smart
Will Smith + alien head punches + "Welcome to Earth!" = Smarter
I was also wondering about the shrapnel-suit. Most likely the capsule is equipped with exploding bolts going off in sequence as it entered the atmosphere. To seperate the different units, release parachute, etc... Before handling the object (which is considered an explosive) they go through a Render Safe Procedure to ensure that none of the explosive bolts (or possibly backup-bolts) still can fire. Notice the cutting of a wire with the green pliers? Very MacGyver!
Only mistake i see with the picture is that there's more than one person at the oject. Big mistake when dealing with explosive ordnance, but then again. They're scientists, not bomb-dismantlers.
As for the gas, my guess is alien-fart.
This thing is their baby, it's been in space for 7 years.
You think I'm going to stand at a safe distance for precautionary measures when I can see my project has landed back at home?! No way! Thus, my theory on the 2 men at the capsule.
BTW, +1 on the MacGyver-ness :D
OMG! The asteroid gave Hayabusa a dutch oven?
Kids. The suit is lead lined to protect from radiation. There is a lot of radiation from the sun that never makes it here to kill you because of the earth's wonderful little magnetosphere. The hazmat suit is to protect them from the alien fart so they won't get pink eye.
Okay...seriously? They're opening this thing in the middle of a field somewhere? Who doesn't think that's a bit of a contamination risk?
@Sci-bernary - my first thought also! But I guess they need the room so the 100 foot tall lizard-monster can get out - you know the one that looks a lot like a man in a floppy rubber suit. Just wait until Ultraman (Hyata) hears of this!! Aren't those guys really from the science patrol?
I hope they have plenty of spare buildings to get stepped on!
...and the guy is staring over it. That's how every sci-fi-horror flick starts.
I just would have imagined these researchers picking it up and putting it into a level 3 facility before they started poking and prodding. The whole gas piece though...smells? Did someone actually take a whiff?
They aren't opening it in a field, read the article.
Great!!! Australia already has about 8 of the 10 deadliest animals in the world... Now this!!!
In the far reaches of our galaxy lived a civilization of beings who were far more developed than the inhabitants of the Earth. As they advanced, so did the capacity for evil in some of them. Their cultural beliefs prohibited them from killing their 'bad apples,' so they developed a means of removing the essence of the creature's life and storing it. They had the ability to restore the physical structure and install the consciousness into the new vessel, which satisfied the strictures of their system of beliefs.
When their scientists realized that their sun was dying and soon to consume everything on their planet, they decided to transfer the 'bad apples' to an asteroid in an uninhabited solar system far, far away. The idea was that the chunk of rock they were left on would continue orbiting the sun there, between the third and fourth planets for eternity without any chance of having someone (something) allow these beings to escape and inhabit the bodies of any intelligent organisms that might be in the vicinity.
Oops. So much for a 'safe place for all time.'
Hayabusa's 'gas' is actually the evil essence of millions of creatures who hopped a ride on a JAXA capsule and will soon find their way into the bodies of millions of unsuspecting people across the Far East. They will be looking to establish their superiority in their new home.
As Ollie said, "Well, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into."
any update on this?