Launch date: 9 May 2003
Earth Flyby date: 19 May 2004
Itokawa orbit operations: 12 September 2005 - 19 November 2005
The primary scientific objective of the Hayabusa (formerly Muses-C) mission was to collect a surface sample of material from the small (550 x 180 meter) asteroid 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36) and return the sample to Earth for analysis. Other scientific objectives of the mission included detailed studies of the asteroid's shape, spin state, topography, color, composition, density, photometric and polarimetric properties, interior and history. Hayabusa launched in May 2003 and performed orbital operations at Itokawa in Sept.-Nov. 2005.