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Welcome back HAYABUSA to Earth after overcoming various difficulties!

The Asteroid Explorer "HAYABUSA" successfully separated its capsule at 7:51 p.m. on June 13 (Japan Standard Time, the following times and dates are all JST,) and re-entered the atmosphere to complete its mission operation at 10:51 p.m.

After the landing, a helicopter searched for the capsule in the Woomera Prohibited Area, and at around 11:56 p.m. on the 13th, its location was confirmed.

For about seven years since its launch by an M-V Launch Vehicle in May 2003, the HAYABUSA successfully completed a great achievement by landing on the asteroid "ITOKAWA," gathering rocks there, and returning to the Earth with them while overcoming various troubles.

Earth image taken by Hayabusa

June 14, 2010