Yes, it’s true! (If you forgive my slight poetic license.) High school students from Brookline, Massachusetts shot a terrific video of Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft coming down through the atmosphere and breaking apart in a fiery cascade over the Australian outback. The lucky students were aboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft, monitoring the reentry, which landed a separate reentry vehicle (visible to the right of the breakup in the video), bringing back samples of an asteroid.
I can’t find a way to embed the video (dang!), which might be just as well, considering how my last embedding effort turned out. But watch it here. And read the full story about these high school students who got a surprise trip Downunder in a NASA jet.