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friday :: december 2, 2005
hayabusa: asteroid sampling

On November 26, 2005 spacecraft 'Hayabusa' - which means "falcon" in Japanese -- challenged the second trial to execute landing on and sampling from the asteroid Itokawa. Hayabusa team confirmed the whole process to have been implemented, and is sure that the team succeeded in sampling materials on the surface of an asteroid for the first time in world history. Detailed data to be sent from Hayabusa will further verify the sampling.

'Hayabusa' started its last descent phase from the altitude of 1 km above Itokawa by command from earth around 10:00 p.m. Nov.25 (JST). It was followed by starting the vertical descent from around 6:00 a.m. Nov.26., and, around 6:25 a.m., Sagamihara Deep Space Control Room sent a command to continue the descent. Hayabusa challenged landing and sampling operation after a hovering phase. Hayabusa team is now sure, through the analysis of telemetry data, that a series of sequence for sampling was successfully done. Hayabusa then flew up to several kilometers altitude with normal solar paddles power, spacecraft attitude, etc.

The spacecraft shifted to safe-hold mode because of its attitude dispersion during ascent, and Sagamihara Deep Space Control Room is now carrying out the recovery operation to three-axis control mode. It therefore takes a few more days to obtain detailed data relating the procedure. Instruments onboard are functioning very well.

Spacecraft Hayabusa could find, on the surface of Itokawa, the Target Marker dropped November 20 among the images taken during descent phase on November 26. On the Target Marker are etched 880,000 names from 149 countries. >from *Hayabusa is sure to have succeeded in asteroid sampling! It found the Target Marker with 880,000 names!*. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). November 28, 2005

"A large gap between meteorite research and asteroid research exists in spite of great many works in each field. To bridge knowledge in both fields it is necessary to establish correspondence between asteroid spectral type and meteorite type by comparing the asteroid sample with the meteorite sample. Hayabusa is, following this scheme, the first mission to collect samples from a near-earth asteroid and return them to the earth." >from *Asteroid Science opened by Hayabusa Samole Return Mission* by A. Fujiwara. Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS/JAXA)

related context
hayabusa mission.
> a chronology of asteroid exploration.
> stardust: comet sampling.
> lunar sampling.
> genesis: solar wind sampling.
> voyager enters solar system's final frontier. june 3, 2005
> sedna. discovery of a candidate inner oort cloud planetoid by michael e. brown. august 10, 2004
> what is a planet? evolving definition. april 7, 2003
> mirror matter footprint in eros asteroid?. november 18, 2002
> quaoar: a new world in the solar system. october 14, 2002
> late permian mass extinction triggered by a collision with near earth object. february 27, 2001
> edgeworth-kuiper belt latest discoveries. august 11, 2000
> eros is relic of solar system's birth. may 30, 2000

a peregrine falcon, wanderer in search for muses

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