Japanese Probe Seems Lost in Space

It appears that the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) has lost contact with a small probe released from its mothership Hayabusa on Saturday. After its release, the Minerva probe failed to make contact with the asteroid Itokawa’s surface, and controllers have no idea where it went. Hayabusa has been having problems with its positioning control system, so it’s possible that it put Minerva on an incorrect vector to reach the asteroid’s surface. Hayabusa is still scheduled to dip down and scoop some material off Hayabusa’s surface to return to Earth for analysis.