The nature of asteroid Itokawa revealed by Hayabusa

M. Yoshikawa, A. Fujiwara, J. Kawaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The spacecraft Hayabusa, which was launched in 2003, arrived at its destination, asteroid (25143) Itokawa in September 2005. The appearance of Itokawa, a small S-type near Earth asteroids, was totally unexpected. The surface is covered with a lot of boulders and there are only a few craters on it. It looks like a contact binary asteroid. The surface composition is quite similar to LL-chondrite. The estimated density is 1.9 0.13 (g/cm3), so the macro-porosity is about 40%. This means that Itokawa is a rubble pile object. In Itokawa, we may see such things that are very close to building blocks of asteroids. In this paper, we review the mission and the first scientific results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-416
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Issue numberS236
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Asteroid landing
  • Asteroid surface
  • Instrumentation
  • Mass determination
  • Rendezvous
  • Sample return
  • Space missions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


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