An experimental Japanese mission to remove dangerous debris from orbit has ended in failure. It's a frustrating setback given the mounting risks posed by the nearly two million bits of junk currently swirling around our planet.
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Video: These aren't renderings, special effects or a scene from No Man's Sky. This is actual footage of the Earth and the Moon, as seen by Japan's Kaguya spacecraft in October 2008. Shot with a pair of 2.2 megapixel HDTV sensors, it's some of the first HD footage of our nearest neighbour that humans ever captured.
After a year-long hiatus, we have a robotic explorer around our angry, overheated twin of a planet again! Late last night the Japanese Space Agency confirmed their audacious plan to use manoeuvring thrusters worked, and now the spacecraft is already sending home new photos.
Countries are scrambling to get to Mars in a good ol' fashioned space race. But focus might be shifting to the red planet's two moons. According to reports, Japan announced plans yesterday to bring its asteroid-probing technology to the tiny Martian satellites.
Over the weekend, the Japanese space agency Jaxa successfully launched the Epsilon rocket, which is carrying a telescope, Sprint-A, for planetary observation. Jaxa was able to complete the launch for about $US37 million, half the cost of previous Jaxa rockets and cheap compared to an average $US450 million NASA launch.