JAXA, the Japanese space agency, has released the first photographs of the interior of the Hayabusa probe. Last week, we were starting to fear that the seven-year mission had returned to Earth without the crumbs of asteroid Itokawa that it had been sent for. But that photo looks promising.
In the image, a microscopic manipulator made of quartz is grabbing a teeny piece of something.
Reportedly, the mechanism designed to capture bits of the asteroid malfunctioned (perhaps when Hayabusa was hit by a solar flare), and did not grab the chunks of rock it was supposed to. But the researchers now believe that some bits of asteroid dust, kicked up by the probe's landing, made their way into the capture chamber regardless.
Analysis of the dust is proceeding.
You would think by now they would learn to just send two of everything from now on. Send em up together and tell one to go first, then the second a short time later, this way the success rate will be higher.
I mean, after all the problems and failures in the past with space, you would think they would have a plan B in place. If your going to spend a lot of money on something, why not build twice the product and twice the cost and at least get results instead of building one, failing and then having to stoop your head in shame.
Its like washing and waxing your car, spending hours cleaning it, then it rains the next morning. Wasted work, if you just planned ahead or bothered to check the weather, or even have two cars and a garage, you could leave the clean one in and take the dirty one.
Build two space thingamabobers, leave one in the garage in space, and take the other one first. Then, if things look alright, send the other, if not, hold off for a little bit.
Your welcome :D