The Planetary Material Sample Curation Facility of JAXA (PMSCF/JAXA) was established in Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan, to curate planetary material samples returned from space in conditions of minimum terrestrial contaminants. The performances for the curation of Hayabusa-returned samples had been checked with a series of comprehensive tests and rehearsals. After the Hayabusa spacecraft had accomplished a round-trip flight to asteroid 25143 Itokawa and returned its reentry capsule to the Earth in June 2010, the reentry capsule was brought back to the PMSCF/JAXA and was put to a series of processes to extract recovered samples from Itokawa. The particles recovered from the sample catcher were analyzed by electron microscope, given their ID, grouped into four categories, and preserved in dimples on quartz slide glasses. Some fraction of them has been distributed for initial analyses at NASA, and will be distributed for international announcement of opportunity (AO), but a certain fraction of them will be preserved in vacuum for future analyses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Space and Planetary Science