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The space adventure > Hayabusa


Credit : Kiso Observatory
A telescopic view of (25143) Itokawa

The Hayabusa spacecraft was launched in May 2003 from the Kagoshima Space Center in Japan. Using an ionic engine, it reached the asteroid (25143) Itokawa in November 2005.

The Hayabusa probe tried unsuccessfully to land on the asteroid and bring back a sample of rocks on Earth. This S-type asteroid presents an unusual aspect not covered with dust.

Credit: JAXA
The asteroid (25143) Itokawa seen by Hayabusa probe