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Hayabusa capsule arrives in Japan

Hayabusa probe. Jaxa photo

NEW DELHI (BNS): The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has completed the transportation of the Hayabusa capsule and its heat shields from Australia.

Hayabusa launched aboard the M-V Launch Vehicle in 2003 to collect mineral samples from the asteroid Itokawa returned to Earth Sunday in Australia.

The carefully packed capsule Friday arrived at JAXA research center in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, where its contents will undergo intense study for up to several months.

JAXA will conduct a CT scan on the still-sealed capsule which is likely to contain sand or other fine particles kicked up when Hayabusa landed on the Itokawa asteroid.

JAXA hopes the samples will reveal which celestial body Itokawa is related to, how the asteroid was formed and also help determine the effects of solar wind and cosmic radiation in the solar system.


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