The MUSES-C ISAS asteroid mission which was scheduled to be launched in coming December, has been put off till the next launch window (May 2003).
The MUSES-C team found an O-ring of a regulator for attitude control system broken during the checking operation. As some other similar O-rings are used for MUSES-C, ISAS team has been engaged in detailed investigation about related components.
As of the present moment, the O-ring in trouble has been changed, and the investigataion has already confirmed the whole attitude control system has no problem.
The process, however, costed a long time, and ISAS is obliged to postpone the launch of MUSES-C from scheduled December 2002 to the next launch window, May 2003.
Thanks to many people's cooperation, the applicants to "Let's go to our Star Prince" reached about 880,000. ISAS would like all applicants to understand the situation that the launch delay this time also means safer arrival of 880,000 names at the target asteroid, 1998SF36. In spite of this launch delay, arrival times to the asteroid and the earth will not be changed.
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science
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Planetary Mission Cancellations Cause For Concern
Washington - Nov. 16, 2000
NASA has cancelled its fourth planetary mission in the past two years. The latest is the "nanorover" that was to have been delivered to the surface of an asteroid by Japan's Muses-C asteroid sample return mission.
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