Arab News Japan
TOKYO: A Hayabusa 2 spacecraft replica is on display from February 20 to 24 in Tokyo’s Kokubunji district. It is an initiative of the Kokubunji local government, NPO group Hodai Giga Star and the Japan Space Forum Foundation.
The exhibition traces the story of the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft, which for the second time in the history of space travel has collected samples from an asteroid. Its mission, which began on December 3, 2014, and ended on December 5, 2020, was successfully completed with the return of the samples to Earth when it landed in Australia.
Hayabusa 2 is a key element in the conquest of space and for JAXA scientists, its mission is to understand the formation of the solar system and the existence of life in the universe. It collected samples directly on the asteroid Ryugu which is 4.6 million years old and is 15 million kilometers from Earth.
The full-size replica is true to the original and shows the position of the four ionic propulsion engines, the nozzle which projects xenon gas and the solar panels that allowed the spacecraft to study Ryugu after a journey of four years.
The exhibition is intended to raise public awareness of the conquest of space. Kokubunji is holding the event as it was in this city that Japan’s tiny developmental rocket Pencil was launched in 1955, opening the way for Japan to join the space race.