Heartbreaking space news

The last ever view of micro-probe Minerva, about to be lost forever, from JAXA Asteroid mission Hayabusa, November 2005
I don’t think I could work in space exploration (like they’d have me). The stress or the grief (or both) would kill me. The tiny (really tiny: it weighs about a pound) probe dropped from the Japanese Asteroid mission Hayabusa has got lost, drifting off into space instead of cleverly bouncing across the surface of the asteroid to scoop up space dust. The last image we’ll ever see of Minerva (for that is its name) is an impossibly melancholy one (see above) – that tiny blob near the right hand end of the asteroid is Minerva, about to keep its appointment with eternal oblivion…

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