National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Hayabusa 2
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Search for Missions Containing:      Search
Hayabusa 2
Hayabusa 2 Mission to Asteroids

Mission Type: Impact, Lander, Sample Return, Rover
Launch Vehicle: H-IIA
Spacecraft Mass: 600 kg
Spacecraft Instruments:
1) X-band High-Gain Antenna (XHGA)
2) Ka-band High-Gain Antenna (KaHGA)
3) Solar Array Paddle (SAP)
4) Small Lander: MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout)
5) Re-entry capsule
6) Small rover (MINERVA 2)
7) Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI)
8) Sampler
Spacecraft Dimensions: Main structure: 1.0m x 1.6m x 1.4m. Paddle span: 6.0m
Spacecraft Power: Ion engine
Hayabusa 2 Project Website:

In 2003, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) sent the first asteroid sample return mission, Hayabusa, to asteroid Itokawa (1998 SF36). Launching in 2014, Hayabusa 2 will be Japan's (and the world's) second asteroid sample-return mission.

Hayabusa 2's primary scientific objective is to collect a surface, and possible sub-surface, sample of materials from asteroid 1999 JU3 and return them to Earth in a capsule for analysis. The mission is also aiming to enhance the reliability of asteroid exploration technologies.

Asteroid 1999 JU3 is about 900 m (about 2,953 feet or about half a mile) in size. It takes 1999 JU3 about 7.6 hours to rotate once. The albedo of the surface is low, and is estimated at about 0.06.

Hayabusa 2 will cruise toward its target asteroid using a combination of ion engines and an Earth swing by (in 2015). After arriving at 1999 JU3 in 2018, Hayabusa 2 will observe the entire surface of the asteroid using a variety of remote-sensing instruments. The spacecraft will then deposit a small lander called MASCOT (the lander is made possible through an international cooperation (Germany, DLR/France, CNES)) and a rover (MINERVA 2) on the asteroid's surface. This rover will explore the surface of the asteroid in further detail. The candidate points for touch-down will then be carefully determined by using the observation results. After selecting the touch-down points, the spacecraft will collect samples from the asteroid's surface in a "touch-and-go" approach. The spacecraft will then move to the final challenge: an impactor will be released in order to create a small crater on the surface of the asteroid. After creating the artificial crater, the spacecraft will attempt to touch down on the asteroid in order to collect the sub-surface materials exposed by the impact. The collected samples will be stored in the capsule, and returned to Earth after a long homeward journey.

Asteroid 1999 JU3 is a C-type asteroid. C-type asteroids (carbonaceous) are the most common type of asteroids found in our solar system and are among the most ancient objects in our solar system. C-type asteroids most likely consist of clay and silicate rocks and are dark in appearance. (The samples returned by the earlier sample return mission, Hayabusa, are from an S-type asteroid. The S-types (silicaceous) are made up of silicate (stony) materials and nickel-iron.) The rock of C-type asteroids is considered to contain organic matter and water. By studying this different type of asteroid, Hayabusa 2 hopes to investigate the origin of water and life on the Earth.

Key Dates
3 Dec 2014:  Launch
2015:  Earth Swingby
Jun 2018:  Arrival at Asteroid 1999 JU3
Dec 2019:  Leaves Asteroid 1999 JU3 for Earth
2020:  End of Asteroid Mission
Dec 2020:  Asteroid Samples Returned to Earth
Status: En Route to asteroid 1999 JU3
Fast Facts
Hayabusa means falcon in Japanese.

Hayabusa 2 is a successor to JAXA's earlier asteroid explorer Hayabusa, which returned the first asteroid samples to Earth in June 2010.

Hayabusa 2 is the third mission to land on an asteroid. NASA's NEAR-Shoemaker mission was the first mission to touchdown on an asteroid.

Hayabusa 2 is the second asteroid sample-return mission.

An impactor from the spacecraft will create an artificial crater on the surface of asteroid 1999 JU3 in order to expose subsurface material for retrieval by the spacecraft.
People Spotlight
Peter Jenniskens Peter Jenniskens
"I study what meteor showers and meteorites teach us about comets and asteroids, the origin of the Zodiacal cloud, and our own past and future." Read More...
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 4 Dec 2014