Hayabusa Itokawa

Hayabusa Itokawa

More than 1,500 grains of asteroid dust were carried back to Earth in 2010 by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa after it traveled more than a billion miles. A solar flare knocked out its solar panels, two reaction wheels failed, two engines lost power, the mini-lander was lost, the planned sample system didn't deploy, and the spacecraft lost touch with Earth for a month, yet it still managed to succeed. This was the first occasion that asteroid material (from Itokawa) was brought back to Earth.

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