Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, Ricardo Amils, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, William M. Irvine, Daniele L. Pinti, Michel Viso

Hayabusa Mission

  • A. C. Levasseur-RegourdEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-11274-4_4028



Asteroid, Regolith, Sample-Return


Hayabusa (“peregrine falcon” in Japanese) is a scientific space mission developed by JAXA to explore a near-Earth asteroid and to return asteroidal soil, while validating new engineering technologies (propulsion, landing, and atmospheric re-entry). Launched in May 2003, Hayabusa-1 rendezvous with asteroid Itokawa was in September 2005. After 2 months of close observations, it descended and attempted to collect surface grains. It departed in 2007 and cruised back to Earth. The sample canister returned safely in July 2010. JAXA has confirmed the presence of tiny dust particles sampled on Itokawa. Hayabusa-2 is now planned, targeting the C-type asteroid 1993JU3 (launch in 2014).


The Hayabusa-1 spacecraft consisted of a core (1 × 1.6 × 2 m) and two solar paddles (5.7 m width), with a total mass of ∼530 kg, including its propellant (for chemical propulsion) and Xenon (for electrical propulsion). It carried four...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Abe A et al (2006a) Near infra-red spectral results of asteroid Itokawa from the Hayabusa spacecraft. Science 312:1334–1338ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abe S et al (2006b) Mass and local topography measurements of Itokawa by Hayabusa. Science 312:1344–1347ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Demura H et al (2006) Pole and global shape of 25143 Itokawa. Science 312:1347–1349ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fujiwara A et al (2006) The rubble-pile asteroid Itokawa as observed by Hayabusa. Science 312:1330–1334ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Okada HT et al (2006) X-ray fluorescence spectrometry of asteroid Itokawa by Hayabusa. Science 312:1338–1341ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Saito J et al (2006) Detailed images of asteroid 25143 Itokawa from Hayabusa. Science 312:1341–1344ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Yano H et al (2006) Touchdown of the Hayabusa spacecraft at the Muses sea of Itokawa. Science 312:1350–1353ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UPMC Univ. Paris 6/LATMOS-IPSLParisFrance