Powered flight of HAYABUSA in deep space

Hitoshi Kuninaka, Kazutaka Nishiyama, Ikko Funaki, Tetsuya Yamada, Yukio Shimizu, Jun'ichiro Kawaguchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Citations (Scopus)


The electron cyclotron resonance ion engine, "μ10,"" has a long life and high reliability because of electrodeless plasma generation in both the ion generator and the neutralizer. Four μ10, each generating a thrust of 8 mN, specific impulse of 3,200 seconds, and consuming 350 W of electric power, propel the "HAYABUSA" asteroid explorer that was launched on May 2003. After vacuum exposure and several runs of bailing to reduce residual gas, the ion engine system established continuous acceleration. Delta-V Earth Gravity Assist, a new orbit change scheme that uses electric propulsion with a high specific impulse was applied to change from a terrestrial orbit to an asteroid-based orbit. In 2005, HAYABUSA, using solar electric propulsion, managed to successfully cover the distance between 0.86 AU and 1.7 AU in the solar system, as well as rendezvous with, land on, and lift off from the asteroid Itokawa. During the 3-year flight, the ion engine system generated a delta-V of 1,400 m/s while consuming 22 kg of xenon propellant and operating for 25,900 hours.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 42nd Joint Propulsion Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)1563478188, 9781563478185
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventAIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 42nd Joint Propulsion Conference - Sacramento, CA, United States
Duration: 2006 Jul 92006 Jul 12

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 42nd Joint Propulsion Conference


ConferenceAIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 42nd Joint Propulsion Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySacramento, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Energy(all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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