We had hoped that Japan's IKAROS solar sail would work as advertised, and it did. Here's an animated image of the fully deployed sail, taken by a "separation camera" from a short distance away.
In other happenings:
- The Hayabusa asteroid sample return capsule came home in spectacular style last week. Video here.
- Scientists on NASA's Kepler planet-hunting mission have released a new batch of data, and now have 400 "objects of interest" that could turn out to be new planets. There's some disagreement over whether the team should be able to hold on to the data until they're sure, though.