Hayabusa hover.jpg
An artist's rendering of Hayabusa above Itokawa's surface
NamesMuses-C (before launch)
Mission typesample return
Mission duration7 years, 1 month and 4 days
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass510 kg (1,120 lb)
Dry mass380 kg (840 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date04:29:25, May 9, 2003 (UTC) (2003-05-09T04:29:25Z)
Launch siteUchinoura Space Center
End of mission
Disposalsample return capsule: recovered
spacecraft: ballistic reentry
Minerva and rover: lost contact
Last contactMinerva: November 12, 2005
Recovery datesample capsule: 07:08, June 14, 2010
Decay datespacecraft: June 13, 2010
Landing datesample capsule: June 13, 2010 (2010-06-13)
Landing sitenear Woomera, Australia
Flyby of Earth
Closest approach06:23, May 19, 2004
Distance3,725 km (2,315 mi)
Sun orbiter
Orbital insertion01:17, September 12, 2005
25143 Itokawa lander
Landing date21:30, November 19, 2005
Return launch21:58, November 19, 2005
25143 Itokawa lander
Landing dateNovember 25, 2005
Sample mass<1g

Hayabusa (Japanese: はやぶさ, "Peregrine falcon") was a robotic spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to return a sample of material from a small near-Earth asteroid named 25143 Itokawa to Earth for further analysis.Hayabusa, formerly known as MUSES-C for Mu Space Engineering Spacecraft C, was launched on 9 May 2003 and rendezvoused with Itokawa in mid-September 2005. After arriving at Itokawa, Hayabusa studied the asteroid's shape, spin, topography, colour, composition, density, and history. In November 2005, it landed on the asteroid and collected samples in the form of tiny grains of asteroidal material, which were returned to Earth aboard the spacecraft on 13 June 2010.

The spacecraft also carried a detachable minilander, MINERVA, which failed to reach the surface.

Mission firsts

Denis J. P. Moura (left) and Junichiro Kawaguchi (right) at the 2010 International Astronautical Congress (IAC)

Other spacecraft, notably Galileo and NEAR Shoemaker (both launched by NASA), had visited asteroids before, but the Hayabusa mission was the first attempt to return an asteroid sample to Earth for analysis.[1]

In addition, Hayabusa was the first spacecraft designed to deliberately land on an asteroid and then take off again (NEAR Shoemaker made a controlled descent to the surface of 433 Eros in 2000, but it was not designed as a lander and was eventually deactivated after it arrived). Technically, Hayabusa was not designed to "land"; it simply touches the surface with its sample capturing device and then moves away. However, it was the first craft designed from the outset to make physical contact with the surface of an asteroid. Junichiro Kawaguchi of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science was appointed to be the leader of the mission.[2]

Despite its designer's intention of a momentary contact, Hayabusa did land and sit on the asteroid surface for about 30 minutes (see timeline below).

Other Languages
العربية: هايابوسا
bosanski: Hayabusa
català: Hayabusa
čeština: Hajabusa (sonda)
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Ελληνικά: Χαγιαμπούσα
Esperanto: Hajabusa
فارسی: هایابوسا
galego: Hayabusa
Bahasa Indonesia: Hayabusa
italiano: Sonda Hayabusa
עברית: היאבוסה
latviešu: Hayabusa
Lëtzebuergesch: Hayabusa (Raumsond)
Bahasa Melayu: Hayabusa
Nederlands: Hayabusa (sonde)
norsk: Hayabusa
norsk nynorsk: Hayabusa
português: Hayabusa
română: Hayabusa
Simple English: Hayabusa
slovenčina: Hajabusa
தமிழ்: ஹயபுசா
Türkçe: Hayabusa
українська: Хаябуса
中文: 隼鸟号