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A Japanese asteroid sample-return probe, known as MUSES-C before its launch in 2003 May. It rendezvoused with asteroid (25143) Itokawa in 2005 September, surveying its surface from distances of 20 km and closer before landing on the asteroid twice in November. On the second occasion two small samples were taken from the surface. Hayabusa arrived back at Earth in 2010 June, ejecting its sample capsule containing dust particles from the surface of the asteroid.

http://www.isas.jaxa.jp/e/enterp/missions/hayabusa/index.shtml Official mission website.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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