Hayabusa’s Primary Visible Imager, AMICA now started its Test Observation
The exposure occurred during 15:10 - 15:15UTC on September 3rd, 2005, when Hayabusa completed its first half of deceleration maneuvers. The field of view of each picture above is 11.4 by 16.3 arc minutes. The vertical axis approximately coincides with the north direction of the ecliptic plane.
Hayabusa carries the AMICA instrument that uses the Optical Navigation Camera sensor-head with the Filter Wheel consisting seven bands filters as well as one wide-band filter. What filter was used is annotated at lower-right in each picture. They are ul (380nm), b (420nm), v (540nm), w (700nm), x (860nm), p (940nm), zs (1,000nm) bands respectively.
Hayabusa will perform the calibration observation using standard stars and plans to conclude Itokawa’s spectral results soon.
In addition to AMICA, Hayabusa performed its on-orbit health check of its Laser Altimeter (LIDAR) aboard, which detects the distance to Itokawa in order to trigger stop maneuver, when Hayabusa reaches the Gate Position box located 20 kilometers toward the Earth. The laser transmission test was successful.
Hayabusa, on September 7th morning, is about 350 kilometers from Itokawa with the approach speed of still 7 kilometers per hour. Hayabusa will reach Itokawa almost one week ahead.
Itokawa : September 4, 02:36 UTC (25 x 25 arc-minutes)
Itokawa : September 6, 03:32 UTC (25 x 25 arc-minutes)
The pictures above show that Hayabusa steadily approaches to Itokawa between last two days.
September 8, 2005