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.