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The orbital information was updated on January 6th, since Hayabusa restarted its ion engine propulsion last week. The instantaneous closest approach distance has now got down to 1.6 million kilometer from Earth,
which is almost that of the boundary of Earth gravity sphere. The radius of the sphere is not
definite, and depending on various views, the radius is differently and alternatively defined. However, what we call Hill's sphere is conceived an objective indicator as Earth gravity
sphere, since the Lagrange points L1 and L2 are theoretically on the sphere boundary.
The distance is 1.5 million kilometer.
Next week, when the next updated orbit information is obtained, the project team can
clearly state that Hayabusa is now on the path passing through the Earth gravity sphere,
which means the project will have succeeded in having guided Hayabusa spacecraft back
home.
* Note even though the path passes through Earth gravity sphere, it does not mean
Hayabusa is spontaneously captured by Earth.


Fig.1: Closest distance to Earth when Hayabusa flies ballistically from the moment designated.

Fig.2: The plane is normal to the approach velocity to Earth, and the horizontal axis corresponds to a crossing line with the equatorial plane. Sun is in the left hand side. Plots show the points where Hayabusa flies through this plane.

Fig.3: Trajectories relative to Earth in inertial frame. The plane corresponds to the ecliptic plane.

Notes: Dates designated in the left figure do not indicate the return dates.

 

Hayabusa completed the correction TCM-2
Jun 8, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa completed the correction TCM-2
Jun 1, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa Caotured its Home Earth
May 17, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa completed the correction TCM-1
May 10, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa successfully completed its initial correction(TCM-0)
May 6, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa about to enter into Earth's gravity sphere
Apr121, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa about to enter into Earth's gravity sphere
Apr 1, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa traversed over south pole and will fly-by at night side of Earth
Mar 26, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa will skim the geosynchronous orbit
Mar 23, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa now at the Final Guidance Phase
Mar 12, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa, passes within half of the Moon's distance
Mar 8, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa, now will pass within Moon's distance
Feb 26, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa is skimming the Moon
Feb 18, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa, Right on the Course
Feb 15, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa will will pass at two times as far distance as to the Moon
Feb 9, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa will approach within 1 million km from Earth
Feb 1, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa Approach in Order with Two More Months of Ion Engines Burn Left
Jan 21, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa on a path passing through Earth's gravity sphere
Jan 14, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa about to enter into Earth's gravity sphere
Jan 8, 2010 Up!!

Hayabusa about to enter into Earth's gravity sphere
Jan 4, 2010 Up!!

more detail

 
 
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