Planetary Society Says Bravo to Hayabusa's Return of Asteroid Particles

For Immediate Release
November 16, 2010

Mat Kaplan
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

The Planetary Society congratulates the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the successful capture of asteroid dust grains by their Hayabusa mission. The spacecraft returned the samples in a lander to the Australian desert a few months ago. Subsequent analysis by scientists at JAXA has confirmed that the particles in the sample return capsule are indeed from an asteroid.

"Today's announcement that Hayabusa has brought back the first ever sample of asteroid dust is one more fantastic achievement in a fantastic mission. These tiny grains are particles from another world, a primordial one. They are indeed small, but they could easily change the way we view our place in space. If I may, JAXA rocks!" said Bill Nye, Executive Director of the Planetary Society.

See images of the tiny particles in Emily Lakdawalla's Planetary Society Blog.

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit