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Tuesday, 8th June 2010
In Events In Japan,

Japanese space craft on its way back to earth

A Japanese space craft used to research asteroid activity is on its way home and on course to land on earth on June 13th.

The Hayabusa space craft was launched into the atmosphere back in 2003 by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. Over the past five years, it has been on the asteroid Itokawa, collecting samples.

Hayabusa was supposed to return to earth three years ago but issues with the operation have kept it in space for longer than the space agency anticipated.

Problems included an engine malfunction, issues with wheels, a loss of communication between the craft and mission control as well as a thruster leak.

It is due to land in Australia and is currently aimed within the Woomera Protected Area in a desert region in the south of the country. At the moment, it is some 3.6 million kilometres away from earth.

Earlier this year, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi used a live broadcast from the International Space Station to show the watching world a sushi making demonstration.

Written by Mark Smith.