from the any-mission-you-can-walk-away-from-right dept.
Sparky writes "Japan is planning to set the Hayabusa spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth next month after a delay of more than a year, but it's far from certain that it will get back safely. It was supposed to retrieve asteroid debris, but it's thought that a computer error prevented that from happening. A fuel leak means that its chemical thrusters are out of action, and the craft is relying on its weaker ion engines. The journey back will take 3 years, and the capsule will be on Earth in June 2010 — even if it is empty."
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a
cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken