National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Hayabusa Troubles
Hayabusa Troubles
9 Nov 2009
(Source: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

On November 4th (Wed., Japan Standard Time), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency identified that one of the main ion engines (Thruster D) aboard the Asteroid Explorer "HAYABUSA" had autonomously stopped detecting a high neutralizer voltage owing to degradation. The HAYABUSA was during the second propulsion period in its return cruise back to the Earth in June 2010. Since the anomaly was identified, the project team has been trying to restart the engine while investigation of the causes; however, the engine has not been restarted yet as of today.

JAXA is currently under diagnostic investigation of the ion engines system aboard the HAYABUSA and trying to build an alternative sequence that helps the HAYABUSA return back to the Earth safely. JAXA will inform you of the update as soon as available.

(Note) The HAYABUSA is equipped with four ion engines (Thrusters A through D,) and each thruster is in the following status. In the current plan, two thrusters, Thrusters C and D, would be used in the second propulsion period in return cruise back to the Earth.

Thruster A: operation suspended due to instability just after the launch
Thruster B: operation suspended due to high neutralizer voltage owing to degradation (since April 2007)
Thrusters C and D: Both of them have indicated slight high neutralizer voltage owing also to degradation.
Thruster C is currently not driven, but it is operable.


Publisher :
Public Affairs Department
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Marunouchi Kitaguchi Building,
1-6-5, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8260
Japan
TEL:+81-3-6266-6400

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
 
 
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 17 Nov 2009