Deep space flight of Hayabusa asteroid explorer

Hitoshi Kuninaka, Jun'ichiro Kawaguchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)


The Hayabusa spacecraft rendezvoused with the asteroid Itokawa in 2005 after the powered flight in the deep space by the μ10 cathode-less electron cyclotron resonance ion engines. Though the spacecraft was seriously damaged after the successful soft-landing and lift-off, the xenon cold gas jets from the ion engines rescued it. New attitude stabilization method using a single reaction wheel, the ion beam jets, and the photon pressure was established and enabled the homeward journey from April 2007 aiming the Earth return on 2010. The total accumulated operational time of the ion engines reaches 31,400 hours at the end of 2007. One of four thrusters achieved 13,400-hour space operation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Exploration Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventSpace Exploration Technologies - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 2008 Mar 172008 Mar 18

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceSpace Exploration Technologies
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Cathode-less electron cyclotron resonance ion engine
  • Deep space powered flight
  • Rendezvous mission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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