You need to upgrade your Flash Player The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular “terrestrial worlds”, places that tend to have surfaces on which one could walk or at least attach oneself to. These places sometimes also have other earth-like familiar features such as atmospheres, weather, volcanos, geysers and perhaps, we are finding, even exotic oceans, rivers or lakes that are not necessarily made of familiar materials we are used to here at home. The second theme is imagery. Occasionally I do some retouching of images when needed if an image is incomplete or sometimes “dirty” or noisy. I will attempt to correct image shortcomings based upon other images or well-accepted presumed attributes. When this is done, notes will be offered as to what was added, why and sometimes how it was done. This way no one should ever wonder if something they are looking at is real or photoshop.

Asteroid Surface Images

The surface of Itokawa

Itokawa (full name 25143 Itokawa) is an Earth crossing type asteroid that was visited by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) in 2005. It was, and still may be, the first asteroid to be sampled and returned to Earth. To make a long story short, JAXA attempted quite a complicated mission for such a young agency and sent a probe to Itokawa. The plan was for Hayabusa to orbit, land upon, sample a bit of the surface and then return those samples back to Earth for retrieval. Currently, the mission is seriously damaged and operating on 1 of 3 reaction wheels. Additionally, Hayabusa suffered a major solar flare that damaged several battery cells, a rehearsal landing failed, the agency is unsure if any samples actually made it into the return cannister and 2 probes designed to study the surface also failed. Despite all this trouble and serious concern about its ability to even make it back to Earth… in early 2007 Hayabusa began its long questionable trip back home. Should it make it, the sample return cannister should re-enter Earth atmosphere in 2010.

Never surrender!

8 Responses to “Asteroid Surface Images”

  1. Beulaers Says:

    thats incredible. Where did you find these color pictures? Ive only seen b/w ones of the hayabusa mission. What’s the scale of these pictures?

  2. thomas Says:

    Hayabusa just recently released all the science data on its web site… you should be able to find it in that link i provide to the hayabusa mission.

  3. thomas Says:

    yeah… that site is busted… here’s the link:

  4. Sumantha Says:

    It’s magnificient !. I’ve never seen anything very interesting like this. Hayabusa is very good in its work.

  5. wanderingspace » Blog Archive » June: Hayabusa Comes Home? Says:

    [...] mission in serious doubt of ever returning to Earth. To make a long story short — the probe did touch-down on the surface of asteroid Itokowa. The first such mission ever intentionally designed to do so (NASA did have an [...]

  6. Karen Says:

    Where did you get the Hayabusa close up color image of asteroid
    Itokawa? Is this a composite image you made from JAXA data? I
    have looked all over the JAXA website and cannot find this image
    and would like to use it, but need to be able to give proper credit
    and get permissions.

  7. thomas Says:

    It is JAXA, I found it digging around their site or blog. I know it is difficult to find anything on the JAXA site. If it were a composite by a freelancer, I doubt I would have failed to mention that. I have no notes attached to the original file.

  8. wintermutt Says:

    Found what I believe to be the raw pictures at:

    And this guy put together a color version, not sure if it’s the same:

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