The orbit maneuver of HAYABUSA spacecraft was handed over
the bi-propellant thrusters on August 28 JST.
After the solar conjunction the microwave discharge ion engines were
turned on again
at the end of July and accelerated with their full throttling
so as to approach to the
At the end of August HAYABUSA stays 4,800km (3,000 mi.) apart from
and is still closing it at 32km/h (20 mph) velocity with
the ion engines off.
HAYABUSA asteroid explorer, launched on May 9 2003, has executed the
using the microwave discharge ion engines, which
established 25,800 hours
numbers of space operational time to
generate 1,400m/s delta-V with
22kg (49 lb) xenon
One of four engines marked the accumulated operational time 10,400 hours.
The ion engines accomplished two-thirds of the orbit maneuver in the
Hereafter HAYABUSA will brake down and keep the gate position 20km
(12 mi.) above
Asteroid ITOKAWA by the bi-propellant thrusters.