TOPICSMessages from project members

On December 6th, 2020, Hayabusa2 successfully returned the re-entry capsule to Earth. During the re-entry operation, we were very encouraged by many warm messages received from all over the world. We feel very grateful, and we would like to share messages from the project members here. We would be happy if you could feel our gratitude for your support, and enthusiasm for the next mission. (Messages are in random order)

Hayabusa2 has completely stepped beyond the door of interplanetary round trip space flight. It was also the door of time to uncover the history of the solar system. I am proud of the project team members who has completed running through the space-time of 4.6 billion years and 5.2 billion kilometers together. And I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has always sent the energy of support to Hayabusa2. With them all, we are the team Hayabusa2. With all together, we could achieve something very big with the best teamwork! Please look forward to the future of Ryugu samples, the Hayabusa2 extended mission, and space exploration created by Hayabusa2!
Yuichi Tsuda (Hayabusa2 Project Manager, JAXA)
Hayabusa2 spacecraft returned with “a lot of” samples from Ryugu on Dec. 6, 2020 and then left the Earth again. I am so happy that the sample return mission was completed after overcoming many difficulties. Thank you for always supporting us. And I'm honored to be able to work together with great team members.
Takanao Saiki (Project Engineer, JAXA)
Thank you very much for your support for Hayabusa-2 project. However, our work on Hayabusa-2 is not over. The extended mission is about to begin. I will be in charge of the zodiacal light observation in this extended mission. As Hayabusa-2 created the artificial crater on Ryugu, debris from asteroids and comets by collision events are scattered into space and drifted through the solar system as interplanetary dust. The entire solar system is faintly and diffusely glowing by scattered sunlight by such interplanetary dust, which is the zodiacal light. I will do my best to achieve good results from this unique opportunity, so thank you for your continued support.
TSUMURA Kohji (NIRS3 team, Tokyo City University)
One day, the universe was born from vacuum by accident, ejected energy became physical matters and stars were born by gravitational contraction. O/C/Si were born in red giant, mixed in supernova and another stars were born again. Planetesimals circled a star, integrated into planets and their surfaces were melted. However, some remained without change and trapped the past of our solar system. *** 4.6 billion years later, a falcon (Hayabusa2) swooped down from the sky, snatched off the fragments of the past and stuffed them into the capsule. It passed for one year and separated the spinning capsule breathlessly. The re-entry capsule shone in the starry night of Woomera, opened a parachute by accelerometer trigger, was caught in a tree and dropped in. After the long and winding journey, the samples arrived at last. Please show us, human being, the past of our solar system.
OSHIMA Takeshi (Project manager, NEC Space Systems Division)
Hi, everyone! I was involved in everything from start of the Hayabusa2 project to development, launch, and initial operation! Really busy development phase from the project start in May 2011 to the launch in December 2014 is a long time ago. Actually, I wanted to be firmly involved in the operation phase also, but I was transferred to another department due to my resignation. In charge of touchdown, Small Cary-on Impactor and return operation, I was in charge of live internet broadcasting. I was happy to feel that I was back in the team. Did you share the excitement of historical moment who watched the live broadcast?
Hiroshi Imamura (Former Hayabusa2 system and SCI engineer)
As passionate as everyone else involved in the operation of the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, I eager to analyze the samples from asteroid Ryugu together with the Ph2K team members. We value this unique opportunity, which will allow us to create new insights into the history of the Solar System.
Motoo Ito (Team Leader of Phase2 Kochi, Member of Initial analysis team (chemistry), JAMSTEC Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research)
I remember the development phase before launch. There was no guarantee of success, but we were working hard, dreaming of success. This result is just like a dream. Our space exploration will continue. Thank you for your support.
Shingo Kameda (Sub-PI of Optical Navigation Camera team, Rikkyo University)
It was a really emotional moment that detecting beacon radio wave from the capsule in Woomera desert. I was honor to join not only the science team but the capsule recovery team. It was a great opportunity for me that working with excellent probe and team!
Rina Noguchi (Shape model/Place name/Capsule recovery, ISAS/JAXA)
It is a great pleasure to participate in Hayabusa2 since the beginning of research and development. Though we faced a lot of extreme difficulties, we could solve all of them with kind supports and collaborations from all over the world. Thank you very much!! We're looking forward to exchange the fresh samples from "Ryugu" with O-Rex's "Bennu." Also, as a member of ion engine team, I will support Hayabusa2 to realize the extended mission to the next targets!
Ryudo Tsukizaki (Ion Engine Engineer, Capsule recovery team member, ISAS/JAXA)
It is really exciting and wonderful time to see the amount of sample in the catcher! It looks like freeze-dried coffee, but I wonder how porous and fragile it is as observed by TIR!
Tatsuaki Okada (TIR/MASCOT/DE/SV, JAXA)
I was looking at Ryugu more than anything during the mission phase through ONC images. It feels like a dream that we have a part of Ryugu in our hands now. Thank you so much for giving us such a precious gift, Princess Otohime. Thank you for coming back safely, Hayabusa2. )
Eri Tatsumi (ONC image analysis/calibration, IAC)
Thank you very much for your fantastic messages. Precious sample obtained from excellent touchdowns on Ryugu and perfect re-entry will reveal mysteries of the formation of the planetary system. Great team!
Sei-ichiro Watanabe (Project Scientist, Nagoya Univ.)
We are deeply grateful for many messages. Thanks to everyone's support, we were able to work with a good sense of tension. We appreciate your continued support!
Yusuke Arikawa・Takanori Sasaki・Hironori Miyahara・Hiroyuki Arai (Operation Planner, SPACE ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT Co., Ltd.)
The original Hayabusa mission was an engineering verification mission for sample return exploration from a microgravity body and most of the key technologies were successfully verified, in spite of a number of challenges the mission had to face. Yet there were a few things that were prevented from even testing their designed capabilities at Itokawa, such as MINERVA and the sampler projectors, due to malfunctions of other sub-systems. Thus the Hayabusa2 mission was the second chance to complete the verification of these technologies. We all know the excellent results of MINERVA-II at Ryugu. On December 15th, we confirmed that abundant amount of collected Ryugu samples inside the sampler catcher chamber-A was consistent with results of microgravity impact experiments we had performed since 1990’s. Congratulations to the entire Solar System research community in the world, as these Ryugu samples are all for them to write new chapters of science. I thank those who have worked on both Hayabusa and Hayabusa2 missions for believing in the sampling system that we have developed. Although it took us more than two decades from the first concept to the space verification, I also thank all the stakeholders for keeping their supports in these two missions for such a long period of time. In these years there are many retired and deceased colleagues who had dedicated their scientific careers to this endeavor; I think now I can tell them that we have successfully passed our torch to the next generation.
Hajime YANO (Sampler-SCI-MASCOT-ONC-Planetary Protection-Microgravity Experiment, Science Team Member, Capsule Recovery Team Member, Operation Supervisor, JAXA/ISAS)
I am glad that the capsule was safely delivered to Japan with the support of many people. Thank you to everyone who supported us and everyone who looked forward to it. As the Direction Finding System(DFS) team, we are pleased to have succeeded in predicting the landing point with high accuracy and contributed to the early transportation of capsule. Although not covered by the media, some people supported the capsule recovery operation while struggling alone in the Woomera desert. Thank you to all the DFS staff. It was the best team!
FUJITA "Chokko" Naoyuki(DFS Chief、Numerical Simulation Research Unit/Supercomputer Division, JAXA)
Dear colleagues from Japan, What an achievement ! You can be proud of you, and it is honor to be a part of such a great mission that revolutionizes the human knowledge. My warm regards.
I was still a PhD student when I was amazed by the first Hayabusa mission's ability to bring back Itokawa grains, despite the unexpected challenges. Today, as a researcher, I feel honored to be part of the Hayabusa 2 science team. These "little black bits" of Ryugu hold secrets that will teach us a lot, while the main probe continues its journey to new asteroids to explore... Congratulations and thanks to all!
Davide Perna (NIRS3 and Ground Observation Teams, INAF Rome Observatory,Italy)
We came; we saw; we got!
Hirohide DEMURA (TIR team, University of Aizu)
Hayabusa2 not only succeeded in all missions on the round trip to the asteroid Ryugu and at Ryugu, but also succeeded in bringing back to Earth samples of Ryugu, far exceeded the planned amount. This is due to the cooperation and support of not only the project members but also many people in Japan and overseas. I'm really thankful to all of you. It's been about 15 years since we proposed Hayabusa2 in 2006, and I feel that this is like a very long way to go, but at the same time I feel it was in a blink of an eye. I am also deeply moved by the progress made from the first Hayabusa. From now on, we will enter a new stage, that is, curation, analysis, and extended missions. And we will continue to explore other celestial bodies. Now, the age of 1 million asteroids! There are still many unknown possibilities. Let's continue to take on various challenges!
(Makoto Yoshikawa, Hayabusa2 Mission Manager, JAXA/ISAS)

Hayabusa2 Project