Shadow of the Hayabusa probe on Itokawa asteroid – 2005, JAXA

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Scanning electron microscope image of a particle from the Itokawa asteroid brought to Earth by Japan’s Hayabusa Probe.

I am a bit ashamed to admit that I knew nothing about this mission until just now – and it’s also a shame I can’t find any better images than these – a link to what was supposed to be a complete archive of data from the mission was broken and my Japanese is limited to hello, nice to meet you and what time is it please?

Incredibly though, the Hayabusa probe flew to the rather unfortunately-shaped asteroid, smacked into it by all accounts and returned to Earth with a sample of it’s surface… what was I doing on the internet until now…?

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2 thoughts on “Shadow of the Hayabusa probe on Itokawa asteroid – 2005, JAXA

  1. You’re still way ahead of me. I remember the announcement of the launch of the probe at that time but have no recollection that it had returned with any material from the asteroid. I would offer my small knowledge of Japanese but it would not help, mostly obscene from what I recall.

    • 😉 yeah I couldn’t believe that the image with the shadow on the asteroid hadn’t crossed my path until now… also, I’d really like to know exactly how the Rosetta mission can keep on touting that they will be the first to ‘land on a comet’ (pretty sure they’ve said that) – must be some minor technicality..

      From what I can ascertain – the Hayabusa probe was ‘lost’ for the time it actually hit/touched/landed on the asteroid.. and maybe that’s the grey area they can cite so that they can claim to be the first?

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