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(Exploring Asteroids)

Prof. Trevor Ireland

Associate Director
Research School of Earth Sciences
The Australian National University

Abstract

Hayabusa was the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid and collect samples for return to Earth. Launched in May 2003, Hayabusa landed on the asteroid "25143 Itokawa" in September 2005. It took samples of the asteroids surface, as well as many measurements of its physical makeup. It successfully returned to Earth on June 13, 2010, at the Woomera Test Range. The capsule was flown to Tokyo and opened under controlled conditions. Nearly 1500 asteroid grains have been recovered from the capsule and documented. Trevor Ireland is a member of the Hayabusa Science Team and has been involved particularly in the sample analysis aspects of the mission. In this talk he will discuss the findings from the mission, what it tells us about the origins of asteroids, and relate the excitement of being the first team to travel to an asteroid and back.

Biography

Trevor Ireland is a Professor at the Research School of Earth Sciences and Planetary Science Institute of the Australian National University. He is interested in the early stages of solar system formation through the study of meteorites and other materials that have been returned from space through sample return missions. He is a member of the Hayabusa Science Team and has been involved particularly in the sample analysis aspects of the mission.