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Waspie_Dwarf

Japan prepares for 2nd asteroid sample return

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Japan prepares for second asteroid sample return

HOUSTON -- Japanese engineers hurriedly redesigned the rock-collector and science payloads on the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft set to launch on an asteroid-sampling mission in late 2014, hoping to trump a problem which limited the load of asteroid rock fragments brought home by a preceding mission.

With the launch of Hayabusa 2 scheduled in less than 2 years, engineers did not have time to make major alterations to the probe based on lessons learned from the Hayabusa mission, which returned the first samples from the surface of an asteroid to Earth in June 2010, according to Shogo Tachibana, a researcher from Hokkaido University in Japan and lead scientist for the Hayabusa 2 sampling system.

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JAXA did an amazing job of salvaging the last mission. Wishing them well on their current endeavor.

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