JAXA weighs new mission using Hayabusa and Hayabusa2 tech

Japan Times -- Apr 30

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, is considering a new mission to collect samples from a small astronomical body, hoping to utilize the technology from the Hayabusa and Hayabusa2 asteroid explorer projects.

The government-affiliated institution set up a working group last year comprising those with experience operating the Hayabusa2 mission, and is in the process of deciding the structure of the planned new explorer spacecraft and its target celestial body. JAXA aims to launch the probe in the mid-2030s and achieve a sample return in the mid-2040s.

A comet moving between the orbits of Earth and Jupiter is viewed as the likely target for the new project. JAXA aims to collect samples of primitive materials that have maintained their state since the birth of the solar system.