CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2007
 8 March 2007

8 March 2007

Speaker: Faith Vilas (MMT Observatory)

Title: Probing Near-Earth Asteroid Characteristics: The Japanese Hayabusa Mission to Asteroid 25143 Itokawa

Abstract: During the fall of 2005, the Japanese Hayabusa spacecraft was stationed near the near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa, studying the attributes of the asteroid and attempting to obtain a sample of the surface material. The orbiter was equipped with visible/near-infrared imaging camera, infrared spectrometer, x-ray fluorescence detector and lidar. Multiple approaches and sampling attempts were made, during which the spacecraft was damaged. Remarkably, Hayabusa is still making its way back to the Earth. The Hayabusa mission and characteristics of the NEA Itokawa will be discussed.

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