Spaceship returns, maybe with world’s 4th space sample.

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Finding the Hayabusa spacecraft sample return capsule.

The Hayabusa explorer space craft just came limping home after a long hard journey!

Scientists retrieve capsule, seeking asteroid dustBy TANALEE SMITH, Associated Press – Mon Jun 14, 1:00 pm ET

…Hayabusa reached an asteroid called Itokawa in 2005. After taking photo images from all angles of the 1,640-foot (500-meter) -long asteroid, Hayabusa landed on it twice in late 2005.

The craft was designed to shoot a bullet into the surface of the asteroid that would crush and propel material through a long tube into a sample collection container. There is no certainty the bullet actually fired, scientists say, but they believe the impact of the tube’s landing would have forced some material upward and into the collection chamber.

“We have perhaps a 50 percent chance” of retrieving samples, Sakamoto said…

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