You have to crawl before you can walk — be you a baby or an asteroid-blasting space cannon. Now, after a successful test-fire here on Earth, Japan’s specially made cannon for its Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is ready to take its first, real steps in outer space.
Fresh from the (possible) success of its Hayabusa comet dust hoover, Japan is planning a new space mission – sending a rotating mirrored probe to the currently fashionable planet Mercury.
NASA captured the re-entry of Japan’s troubled but still successful Hayabusa probe early this morning over Australia. The payload reportedly ejected without incident and parachuted to earth. What you see here is everything else going to hell (by design):