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Thursday, 16th June 2011
In Business In Japan,

Japanese space agency receives Guinness World Record

The Hayabusa probe, launched by Japan's space agency last summer, has been recognised with an award from Guinness World Records.

According to the award from the records organisation, the unmanned spacecraft - launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) - is the first to return to Earth having collected material from an asteroid.

The citation on the award noted that is was given because the probe "landed on Earth with its precious cargo of tiny grains of material collected from the surface of the asteroid Itokawa".

In addition to this, the Guinness World Records corporation recognised that the Hayabusa probe (which translates literally as peregrine falcon) is the first spacecraft ever to take-off from an asteroid.

JAXA's Hayabusa probe was launched on May 9th 2003 and returned to Earth on Monday (June 13th). The spacecraft landed on the catchily-named asteroid 25143 Itokawa, which is one of the Apollo asteroids discovered by Karl Wilhelm Reinmuth.

Written by Susan Ballion

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