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Hayabusa literally peregrine falcon) is an unmanned space mission led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to return a sample of material from a small near-Earth asteroid named 25143 Itokawa (dimensions 540 meters by 270 meters by 210 meters) to Earth for further analysis.
The Hayabusa spacecraft, formerly known as MUSES-C , was launched on 9 May 2003 and rendezvoused with Itokawa in mid-September 2005. After arriving at Itokawa, Hayabusa studied the asteroid's shape, spin, topography, colour, composition, density, and history. In November 2005, it attempted to land on the asteroid to collect samples but failed to do so. Nevertheless, there is a high probability that some dust swirled into the sampling chamber, so it was sealed, and the spacecraft is slated to return to Earth by June 2010.
The spacecraft also carried a detachable mini-lander but it failed to reach the surface