Space Science Reviews

, Volume 208, Issue 1–4, pp 107–124 | Cite as

Hayabusa2 Sample Catcher and Container: Metal-Seal System for Vacuum Encapsulation of Returned Samples with Volatiles and Organic Compounds Recovered from C-Type Asteroid Ryugu

  • Ryuji OkazakiEmail author
  • Hirotaka Sawada
  • Shinji Yamanouchi
  • Shogo Tachibana
  • Yayoi N. Miura
  • Kanako Sakamoto
  • Yoshinori Takano
  • Masanao Abe
  • Shoichi Itoh
  • Keita Yamada
  • Hikaru Yabuta
  • Chisato Okamoto
  • Hajime Yano
  • Takaaki Noguchi
  • Tomoki Nakamura
  • Keisuke Nagao
  • The Hayabusa2 SMP Team


The spacecraft Hayabusa2 was launched on December 3, 2014, to collect and return samples from a C-type asteroid, 162173 Ryugu (provisional designation, 1999 JU3). It is expected that the samples collected contain organic matter and water-bearing minerals and have key information to elucidate the origin and history of the Solar System and the evolution of bio-related organics prior to delivery to the early Earth. In order to obtain samples with volatile species without terrestrial contamination, based on lessons learned from the Hayabusa mission, the sample catcher and container of Hayabusa2 were refined from those used in Hayabusa. The improvements include (1) a mirror finish of the inner wall surface of the sample catcher and the container, (2) adoption of an aluminum metal sealing system, and (3) addition of a gas-sampling interface for gas collection and evacuation. The former two improvements were made to limit contamination of the samples by terrestrial atmosphere below 1 Pa after the container is sealed. The gas-sampling interface will be used to promptly collect volatile species released from the samples in the sample container after sealing of the container. These improvements maintain the value of the returned samples.


Hayabusa2 Sample return 162173 Ryugu 1999 JU3 Noble gases Metal seal Terrestrial alteration 



We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments which improved the clarity of the paper. K. N. acknowledges the Ministry of Science, ICT and Planning (MSIP) of Korea, for supporting preparation of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryuji Okazaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hirotaka Sawada
    • 2
  • Shinji Yamanouchi
    • 3
  • Shogo Tachibana
    • 4
  • Yayoi N. Miura
    • 5
  • Kanako Sakamoto
    • 2
  • Yoshinori Takano
    • 6
  • Masanao Abe
    • 7
    • 8
  • Shoichi Itoh
    • 9
  • Keita Yamada
    • 10
  • Hikaru Yabuta
    • 11
  • Chisato Okamoto
    • 12
  • Hajime Yano
    • 8
  • Takaaki Noguchi
    • 13
  • Tomoki Nakamura
    • 14
  • Keisuke Nagao
    • 15
  • The Hayabusa2 SMP Team
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Faculty of SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Space and Astronautical ScienceJapan Aerospace Exploration AgencySagamiharaJapan
  3. 3.Research Equipment Development Center of Science FacultyKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Natural History SciencesHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  5. 5.Earthquake Research InstituteUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  6. 6.Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokosukaJapan
  7. 7.SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies)SagamiharaJapan
  8. 8.Japan Aerospace Exploration AgencySagamiharaJapan
  9. 9.Department of Geology and Mineralogy, Faculty of ScienceKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  10. 10.Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and EngineeringTokyo Institute of TechnologyYokohamaJapan
  11. 11.Department of Earth and Space ScienceOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  12. 12.Department of Planetology, Graduate School of ScienceKobe UniversityKobeJapan
  13. 13.Faculty of Arts and ScienceKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  14. 14.Department of the Earth and Planetary Material ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  15. 15.Division of Polar Earth-System SciencesKOPRI (Korea Polar Research Institute)IncheonKorea

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