Model of Hayabusa's sampling horn

Model of Hayabusa's sampling horn
Model of Hayabusa's sampling horn A closeup view of a full-scale model of Hayabusa's sampling horn, which definitely contacted Itokawa. It had a mechanism designed to fire pellets at the asteroid; the impact of the pellets should have caused material from the asteroid's surface to spray up and into the horn and into the open sample capsule. Evidence suggests that the pellets did not fire, but the facts are murky because the spacecraft temporarily lost power after its second encounter with the asteroid, corrupting its data. So until the capsule is returned to Earth it will not be known whether it contains any samples of the asteroid or not. The Planetary Society

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