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The orbit maneuver of HAYABUSA spacecraft was handed over from the ion engines to
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
target.
At the end of August HAYABUSA stays 4,800km (3,000 mi.) apart from Asteroid
ITOKAWA 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 orbit
man
euver using the microwave discharge ion engines, which established 25,800 hours
the total numbers of space operational time to generate 1,400m/s delta-V with
22kg (49 lb) xenon propellant.
One of four engines marked the accumulated operational time 10,400 hours.

The ion engines accomplished two-thirds of the orbit maneuver in the round-trip
space mission.
Hereafter HAYABUSA will brake down and keep the gate position 20km (12 mi.) above
Asteroid ITOKAWA by the bi-propellant thrusters.

 

 
 
 
Accomplishment of HAYABUSAfs outward journey by ion engines