Press Release


Commencement of initial analysis of particles
in Hayabusa sampler container

January 17, 2011 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been engaged in collecting and categorizing particles in the sampler container (*1), which was brought back by the instrumental module of the asteroid exploration spacecraft "Hayabusa."

JAXA decided to commence the initial analysis (*2) of particles indentified as rocky using scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations, which were collected through the free fall method from sample catcher compartment "A." Please see the attached list of researchers in charge of initial analysis.

*1 The Hayabusa sampler container consists of 2 compartments that are called Sample Catcher A and B.

*2 "Initial analysis" means the analysis of typical particles to obtain information necessary for categorizing
(identification, classification and numbering) as a part of curation activity (*3).

*3 "Curation activity" means the retrieval of particles, preservation, categorizing and allocation and their necessary analysis.

List of initial analysis plans

Representative(*) and members of analysis
(in alphabetical order of representative's  family name)
AffiliationAnalytical method and equipmentInformation to be obtained
Mitsuru Ebihara *

Shun Sekimoto
Tokyo Metropolitan University, Science & Engineering
Kyoto University, Research Reactor Institute
Neutron Activation Analysis
(Research Reactor of Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute)
Elemental composition
Fumio Kitajima *

Masato, Kotsugi
Takuo Ohkochi
Kyushu University, Faculty of Sciences
(JASRI:Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute)
(SPring-8:The world’s largest synchrotron radiation facility)
Micro-Raman Spectroscopy / Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Micro-Infrared Spectroscopy (Kyushu University)
X-ray Photoemission Electron Microscope (SPring-8)
Presence or absence of carbonaceous macromolecular matter and its structure (if present)
Keisuke Nagao *

Ryuji Okazaki
University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Science
Kyushu University, Faculty of Sciences
Noble Gas Mass Spectrometry (University of Tokyo) Surface environment of Itokawa based on concentrations and isotopic ratios of solar and cosmogenic noble gases
Eizo Nakamura * Okayama University, Institute for Study of the Earth's Interior Analysis coordination and laboratory management (Okayama University) Data evaluations and cataloging
Tatsuki Tsujimori Petrographic microscopes, Stereoscopic microscopes
(Okayama University)
Scanning Electron Microscopes (Okayama University)
Electron Probe Microanalyser (Okayama University)
Morphologic and petrographic characters of particles
Major element composition and distribution
Tak Kunihiro High-Resolution Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer
(Okayama University)
In-situ isotope composition of oxygen (and lithium for particles >  15 µm)
Takuya Moriguti Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer
(Okayama University)
In-situ elemental composition of H, B, C, F, Cl, rare-earth elements and other trace elements
Katsura Kobayashi Transmission Electron Microscope (Okayama University) Submicron-scale texture; Crystal structure; In-situ major element composition; Submicron-scale elemental distribution; Occurrence of organic matter
Masami Kanzaki Micro-laser Raman Spectroscopy (Okayama University) Description of polymeric organic matter (in case of organic matter identified)
Ryoji Tanaka Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometers (Okayama University) Preparation of analytical standards (reference materials) for trace-element and isotope analyses. In-situ individual analyses will be carried out based upon these reference materials.
Akio Makishima Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometers (Okayama University)
Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometers(Okayama University)
Tomoki Nakamura *

Takaaki Noguchi

Masahiko Tanaka
Tohoku University, Faculty of Science
Ibaraki University, the College of Science
National Institute for Materials Science
X-Ray Diffraction, X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis (High Energy Accelerator Research Organization)
Scanning Electron Microscope (Tohoku, Kyushu and Ibaraki University)
Transmission Electron Microscope (Ibaraki Univ., Hitachi High Technologies Co. Ltd.)
X-Ray Diffraction (SPring-8)
Identification of minerals, relative mineral abundance, whole-rock elemental abundance
Chemical composition of minerals, internal texture of particles  Microstructures of minerals, Chemical compositions of minerals, Investigation of space weathering
Crystal structure of minerals
Hiroshi Naraoka *

Hajime Mita

Kenji Hamase

Kazuhiko Fukushima
Kyushu University, Faculty of Sciences
Fukuoka Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering
Kyushu University, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Nagoya University, School of Agricultural Sciences
Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (Kyushu University)
Liquid Chromatograph-Fluorescent Detection (Kyushu University)
Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (Nagoya University)
Presence or absence and type of organic compounds (if present)
Akira Tsuchiyama *

Kentaro Uesugi
Osaka University, School of Science
X-Ray Tomography (SPring-8) 3D shape and inner structure of particles
Hisayoshi Yurimoto * Hokkaido University, Department of Natural History Sciences Isotope Microscope/ Secondary Ion Mass spectrometer (Hokkaido University) Isotopic compositions, trace element compositions
Note: This table shows overall plan for over the next several months.
Michael Zolensky (NASA), Scott Sandford (NASA) and Trevor Ireland (ANU, Australia)will join as foreign researchers.