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Probe returning with asteroid rock sample

  1. Nov 28, 2005 #1


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    ---quote from Guardian---
    Probe returning to Earth after asteroid landing

    Alok Jha
    Monday November 28, 2005
    The Guardian

    The Japanese space probe Hayabusa began its journey home yesterday after becoming the first spacecraft to successfully land on an asteroid and collect samples.
    Scientists want to study the fragments of the 300-metre-wide asteroid Itokawa, 180m miles from Earth, for signs of how the solar system was born. The probe fired a metal ball into Itokawa and collected the debris. Jaxa, the Japanese space agency, will not be certain of total success until the probe has been opened after its return, planned for 2007.

    The probe had technical difficulties last week, possibly due to a gas leak.

    Anybody know more about this? Any information about the asteroid called Itokawa?
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