Japanese spacecraft's 'black box' recorder survives flaming fall to earth

When we reported on Japan's plans to track the re-entry process of its Kounotori 2 spacecraft with a black-box-style recorder, there were still some unanswered questions: specifically, would the REBR (Re-entry Breakup Recorder) sink or swim. Well, according to an announcement from the device's creator, the thing not only survived the fiery plunge to Earth, but it also stayed afloat after plunking down in the South Pacific Ocean on Tuesday. During free fall, the REBR did as it was expected, automatically monitoring, recording, and eventually transmitting data about the re-entry process, and while the thing was admittedly 'not designed to survive impact with the water,' it continued relaying information even after landing. The next scheduled REBR mission is planned for June -- here's hoping the new guy's as buoyant as its buddy. Full PR after the break.

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