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Hayabusa sample capsule photographed on the ground in Australia

Emily Lakdawalla • June 13, 2010

Oh my wonderful little flying saucer, you have been to an asteroid and back -- and you were burning like a star last night! And there you are, sitting quietly in the desert, just waiting to be retrieved...

Hayabusa's return: a review

Emily Lakdawalla • June 13, 2010

Hayabusa's return: round up some of the amazing photos, movies, and artworks that were posted and shared and Tweeted and re-Tweeted over the previous dozen hours or so.

Welcome home, Hayabusa!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 13, 2010

At 13:51 UTC, the Hayabusa spacecraft -- having traveled to an asteroid and back, surviving countless challenges-- broke up into a fiery meteor over the midnight, midwinter Australian sky.

Preparing for Hayabusa's return

Emily Lakdawalla • June 11, 2010

Only about 40 hours remain for the Hayabusa mission. Its dramatic entry will take place at 14:00 UTC on Sunday, June 13.

Hayabusa: Waiting

Emily Lakdawalla • June 10, 2010

We're in the final days of the Hayabusa mission, but until Sunday I think we're in a state of "no news is good news."

Hayabusa's final approach on target; Japan's ready to receive samples

Emily Lakdawalla • June 09, 2010

Hayabusa's final maneuver, a three-hour "firing" of its ion thrusters to fine-tune the spacecraft's trajectory toward Australia, was successful.

A brief history of Hayabusa

Emily Lakdawalla • June 08, 2010

For those of you who found my Hayabusa mission recap too long, here's a graphical version of the history of the Hayabusa mission.

Hayabusa: "I did my best!"

Emily Lakdawalla • June 08, 2010

While he was in Japan to observe IKAROS' sail deployment, Lou Friedman couldn't help but notice the country's excitement over the impending return of Hayabusa.

Six days left for Hayabusa: A recap of the mission

Emily Lakdawalla • June 07, 2010

The Hayabusa spacecraft is about to die. On Sunday, June 13, at 14:00 UTC, Hayabusa will burn up in Earth's atmosphere, bringing its dramatic seven-year mission to an end.

Taking things slowly with IKAROS sail deployment

Louis D. Friedman • June 05, 2010

Planetary Society Executive Director Lou Friedman was at JAXA's Japanese Space Exploration Center to observe the deployment of IKAROS' solar sails.

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