Hayabusa2 Asteroid Sample Return Capsule to Land in Australia on Dec. 6

Schematic diagram of the Earth return orbit for Hayabusa2 and operations. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa, President, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Dr. Megan Clark AC, Head, the Australian Space Agency (the Agency) released a joint statement dated July 14 2020. The statement acknowledges that the capsule of ‘Hayabusa2’ containing the asteroid samples will land in South Australia on December 6, 2020.

JAXA and the Agency are working through JAXA’s plan for the re-entry and recovery of the capsule. The plan will be finalized by the issuance of Authorisation of Return of Overseas Launched Space Object (AROLSO) from the Australian government.

Joint Statement for Cooperation in the Hayabusa2 Sample Return Mission by the Australian Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

14 July 2020

The Australian Space Agency (the Agency) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have been in close cooperation on JAXA’s asteroid sample-return mission, ‘Hayabusa2’. The sample capsule is planned to land in Woomera, South Australia and the Agency and JAXA are working towards the planned safe re-entry and recovery of the capsule containing the asteroid samples.

Recently, JAXA indicated that 6 December 2020 (Australia/Japan time) is its planned target date for the capsule re-entry and recovery. The Agency and JAXA are working through JAXA’s application for Authorisation of Return of Overseas Launched Space Object (AROLSO), which will need to be approved under the Space Activities Act (1998).

Successfully realizing this epoch-making sample return mission is a great partnership between Australia and Japan and will be a symbol of international cooperation and of overcoming the difficulties and crisis caused by the pandemic.

Dr Megan Clark AC
Head, Australian Space Agency
Melbourne, Australia

Dr YAMAKAWA Hiroshi
President, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Tokyo, Japan