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Intl teams to examine Hayabusa dust particles

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Researchers in 6 countries are to analyze dust samples from an asteroid brought back to Earth by Japan’s unmanned space probe Hayabusa 2 years ago.

Japanese researchers have already confirmed that the particles collected from the asteroid Itokawa are chemical similar to common meteorites found on Earth.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on Wednesday announced research teams from overseas chosen for further research.

17 groups, from the United States, France and elsewhere have been handpicked out of the 31 that offered to study the samples. Britain and France are to form a separate task force made up of a group of universities.

Experts say the dust particles could shed light on how planets in the solar system emerged and evolved.

The samples are to be lent to the research teams for about a year.

Jun. 13, 2012 – Updated 15:56 UTC (00:56 JST)