December 6, 2020
Science and Technology

The capsule carried by the asteroid explorer “Hayabusa2” was detached and successfully retrieved as the spacecraft returned to Earth following a six-year mission travelling 5.2 billion kilometers.
The “Hayabusa2” is the first-ever mission to succeed in touching down twice on the same asteroid, creating a man-made crater, and carrying out a high precision landing with an error range of just 60 cm.
The “Hayabusa2” which inherited technology from the first generation “Hayabusa”, has successfully carried out high precision operations without facing any major problems. Japan is proud of this achievement that has sent a clear message around the world about Japan’s technological strengths in space exploration including returning asteroid samples to Earth.
The team’s success in the collective, steady operation of the spacecraft will greatly benefit future exploration plans. The capsule is expected to contain underground samples of the asteroid that will reveal more about the early days of the formation of the Solar System. There are also great expectations on the scientific results of the comparative analysis between this sample data and data from other asteroids.  
On behalf of the Japanese government, MEXT would like to express its deep gratitude to all those involved in the project up until now, and the enormous cooperation by the Australian government to provide a place for the capsule landing, and its consideration for allowing project members assigned to retrieve the capsule entry into Australia.
The “Hayabusa2” has already set off onto its next mission. The spacecraft’s activities have given many people of Japan hopes and dreams, and an opportunity for Japanese children to foster an interest in science. MEXT hopes the spacecraft will continue to give outstanding results towards giving us unprecedented insights.

December 6, 2020
Hagiuda Koichi
MEXT Minister

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