Photos from Japan's beleaguered asteroid mission Hayabusa to visit the asteroid Itokawa and collect samples to be returned to Earth. Japanese asteroid…Read More »
probe, Hayabusa, performed a spectacular set of duties at asteroid Itokawa. Less «
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Named 25143 Itokawa, this asteroid is some 540 meters by 270 meters by 210 meters. Japan's robotic Hayabusa spacecraft rendezvoused with asteroid Itokawa…Read More »
in mid-September 2005 and studied the space rock's shape, spin, topography, color, composition, densi Less «
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Return to Sender
Credit: C. Waste and T. Thompson (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Earth return of Japan's Hayabusa asteroid probe and release of its sample capsule.
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I'm Gonna Getcha
Credit: JAXA/ISAS/Hitoshi Kuninaka
Japan's ion engine-propelled Hayabusa probe has reached its scientific prey: asteroid Itokawa. The spacecraft is loaded with technology, including sample…Read More »
return tools to snag and bag specimens of the object for transport back to Earth. Less «
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Credit: Space Robotics Lab/Tohoku University
Artist's concept of Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft touching down on the asteroid to start sampling operations.
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Credit: Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA.
An artist's concept of Japan's Hayabusa landing on the asteroid Itokawa.
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Asteroid Itokawa's image captured November 20 by Japan's Hayabusa probe. Note shadow of spacecraft as it maneuvered to a close encounter with the space rock.
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Circles and Arrows
A close-up on one of the various spots the Hayabusa probe is surveying on the asteroid Itokawa for a prospective landing site.
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Japan's Hayabusa space probe has drawn closer to its celestial target: asteroid Itokawa. The spacecraft is being prepared for touchdown this month on the…Read More »
space rock, picking up specimens for return to Earth, and deploying a small lander that can hop from Less «
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On the Surface
Getting down and dirty is the plan for Japan's Hayabusa asteroid probe. Imagery taken by the spacecraft shows the terrain of asteroid Itokawa in preparation for sampling of the space rock.
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This Must Be the Place
A target marker dropped by Hayabusa (a bright spot) can be seen on the surface of asteroid Itokawa. Spacecraft shadow is cast upon the space rock.
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I Fall to Pieces
This still from a NASA video shows the Hayabusa spacecraft as it burned up over Australia during re-entry on June 13, 2010 to cap a 7-year mission to the…Read More »
asteroid Itokawa. Hayabusa ejected a sample return capsule (bright dot at lower right) before burning up. It landed in the Australian outback and has been recovered. Less «
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Waiting on a Friend
Hayabusa's sample return capsule and parachute lie on the ground in Australia's Woomera Prohibited Area.
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Hayabusa Asteroid Particles
This scanning electron microscope image shows mineral particles from asteroid Itokawa (red) collected from a sample container from Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft,…Read More »
which visited the asteroid in 2005 and returned to Earth in June 2010. Less «
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Tariq joined Purch's Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.