Thursday, May 27, 2010

The return of Hayabusa

Well that may sound like the title of a cheesy horror movie, rest assured, it is not. Hayabusa is the name of a satellite that Japan launched on the 9th of May 2003. The goal of the satellite was to go to and make scientific observations of an asteroid named Itokawa. There were many problems with Hayabusa but there were also a lot of firsts and successes. For example, Hayabusa was the first satellite to land and stay on an asteroid's surface, but it also failed to launch its lander. Another thing that is unique about this satellite is the fact that it is coming back home to Earth after it made contact with an asteroid.

There are some people in Japan, I guess it would be the portion that is a lot more geeky than me, that want to really celebrate Hayabusa's return. There are people that are drawing comic strips about the satellite and even companies that are making special Hayabusa sake (Japanese rice wine) to commemorate the occasion. Below you can see one of the comic strips and what the sake looks like.

The comic shows the Hayabusa (the girl in yellow...) being thrown off the face of Earth by an H2 rocket (the girl in red...). The sake bottles show an artist's representation of Hayabusa as it looks in real life and if it were an anime girl (gah...). You can see all of that stuff and more at website for the sake company that is making the sake. There is also a little clock near the middle of the page that tells when Hayabusa is suppose to land back on Earth (as of now it is 16 days and 6 hours).

Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 隼(はやぶさ). It is pronounced hayabusa and it means peregrine falcon. I don't know why but I think it is a fitting name for a satellite.

See you next time at JJNN!

No comments:

Post a Comment