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Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa to land in Australia

Artist's impression of Hayabusa in proximity to Itokawa's surface. A File photo.

SYDNEY (BNS): Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa will return to Earth on June 13, 2010 at the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) in outback South Australia.

The Hayabusa is on track to become the first spacecraft to return material from an asteroid to Earth.

Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Australian authorities are working together to successfully land the Hayabusa in Australia.

According to the Australian MoD, Australian Defence and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research are providing crucial support to JAXA for Hayabusa’s re-entry and recovery.

The probe was launched by JAXA in 2003 with the task of collecting samples from the asteroid Itokawa.

The spacecraft Hayabusa was originally due to land in 2007 was plagued due to technical difficulties with the explorer's thruster system.

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