Successor of Hayabusa explorer at conceptual stage: scientist

13:47, July 08, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The successful re-entry of Japanese space probe Hayabusa causes a bright streak in the night sky, near the Woomera rocket range in the Australian outback June 13, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

The successor of the Hayabusa explorer was still at a conceptual stage, a professor of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has said.

Junichiro Kawaguchi, project manager of the Hayabusa program, told Xinhua on Wednesday that the next stage of the project would still be carried out by Japan alone, but the research would be open.

The analysis of the samples returned was the first step to the next generation of exploration, he added.

The professor said the particles collected from the Hayabusa spacecraft's sample were small, but bigger enough for analysis. He said the collection of particles should be cataloged and then researchers would try to identify which materials were candidates of earth origin and which came from the asteroid it probed.

It would take another several months, he said.

Hayabusa was launched in 2003. It reached an asteroid named Itokawa in 2005 and made two touchdowns on it in November the same year. The spacecraft experienced a fuel leak and loss of contact with Earth for seven weeks before returning to earth earlier in June.



  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows strong wind blows trees in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province. Typhoon Nesat heads towards south China and is moving at an average wind speed of 20 km per hour toward the west coast of China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Hou Jiansen)
  • A fallen tree is seen on a road in Qionghai, south China's Hainan Province, Sept. 29, 2011. Typhoon Nesat was predicted to land in Hainan later Thursday, bringing heavy rainfalls to the island. (Xinhua/Meng Zhongde)
  • Arash Kamalvand (L) of Iran spikes the ball during the semifinal against South Korea at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 28, 2011. Iran won 3-1 to advance to the final. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • A man visits "Thy Word Is Truth, the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China", during its opening at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Washington DC, capital of the United States, Sept. 28, 2011. Through the Bible's various Chinese versions, ancient or modern, as well as pictures, paintings, calligraphy, art works and historical documents, the exhibition was expected to give an overall understanding of how Bible was brought into China, how it was translated, published, distributed and loved. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
Hot Forum Discussion