PROCYON

PROCYON


PROCYON, short for PRoximate Object Close flYby with Optical Navigation, is a space probe set to conduct flybys of asteroids. The space probe is designed to use its optical telescope as a way of navigating closely around asteroids. In April 2015, the asteroid 2000 DP107 was selected as PROCYON’s target destination. PROCYON was launched as a secondary payload aboard the rocket that carried Hayabusa 2 to space. At the size of a microwave oven, PROCYON became the smallest space probe to travel beyond Earth’s orbit. PROCYON unexpectedly proved helpful to the Rosetta mission by imaging the comet that Rosetta was orbiting, providing vital data to scientists. The space probe never reached its target asteroid and contact with PROCYON was lost on December 4, 2015 despite multiple attempts to reestablish a link.

Latest News: Problems look mighty small from 150 miles up. http://spaceipsum.com
(top image: the launch of the PROCYON space probe in Japan)