Tokyo: The Japanese Aerospace Exploration
Agency on Tuesday said it has applied the Guinness World Records
to recognise one of its spacecraft`s first-ever trip to an
asteroid and its long duration of flight as world records.
The Agency commonly known as JAXA said it has asked
Guinness to recognise the Japanese space probe Hayabusa`s
flight to and from the asteroid Itokawa as world records.
Hayabusa completed its seven-year voyage Sunday after
releasing a small capsule which may contain asteroid surface
JAXA said it filed the application yesterday with
Guinness in response to an instruction from Education,
Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Tatsuo
Kawabata urged JAXA to publicise the results of the space
probe to the Japanese people in an easy-to-understand manner,
agency officials said.
Hayabusa, which was launched in May 2003, landed on the
asteroid Itokawa, about 300 million kilometres from Earth, in
November 2005. It left the asteroid in April 2007 for Earth.
The capsule released by Hayabusa was picked up yesterday
in a desert near Woomera, southern Australia. It is expected
to arrive in Japan later this week for a careful study to
confirm whether it contains any substance from the asteroid.
Hayabusa travelled some 6 billion km, surviving a series
of technological problems that frequently threatened its
return and put its return three years behind schedule.
Science minister Kawabata, speaking at a news conference
today, praised Hayabusa`s flight, saying, "It has accomplished
extremely great achievements technologically."