STROUDSBURG, PACables have contributed to the first and only asteroid dust capture from space. In a seven-year space mission, Japanese scientists confirmed that their Hayabusa space probe captured particles from the asteroid Itokawa. Those particles have been undergoing a wide variety of tests and analysis after returning to Earth this past June. "This is a world first and it is a remarkable accomplishment that brought home material from a celestial body other than the moon," states Yoshiaki Takagu, Japan's Science and Technology Minister.
The Hayabusa is equipped with MegaPhase's GrooveTube cable assemblies. Those assemblies underwent rigorous testing including radiation, thermal shock, and vibration. Such testing was needed to ensure that the 1100-lb. space probe would continue to function through its 186,411,358-mile journey2X the distance between the Earth and the sun. "MegaPhase is very pleased to have gained successful space heritage on this state-of-the-art mission with our partners at NEC/Toshiba Space and our local sales engineers, SHOSHIN Company," notes William Pote, CEO and Founder of MegaPhase.
The Hayabusa is the only spacecraft designed to land on an asteroid and then take off again. Formerly known as MUSES-C (Mu Space Engineering Spacecraft C), the Hayabusa launched in May 2003 and rendezvoused with Itokawa over two years later. The Hayabusa craft studied the asteroid's shape, spin, topography, color, composition, density, and history. In November 2005, the probe landed on the asteroid and collected samples in the form of tiny grains of asteroidal material, which were finally returned to earth in June 2010. The Japanese scientists hope that their research will provide new information about the birth of the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago.