By >Akihabara News Team
Hayabusa Sample Container Particle Count Reaches 800
JAXA, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, has announced that they have collected over eight hundred particles from the sample container brought back by the Hayabusa space capsule, which returned to Earth last June after a seven-year mission to and from the near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa. Deeming that retrieving and analyzing each of an unknown number of particles from the container would take too long and be too expensive, the recovery team instead opted to pick up all the particles – on average, as small as 1/100 of a millimeter – with a small brush and analyze the brush itself.
JAXA was hoping to start analysis of the particles in mid-December, but has decided it would probably be impossible to start within this year.