ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Advanced Navigation and Guidance Scheme for Hayabusa Asteroid Sample Return Mission
Small body explorations are scientifically very important because their sizes are too small to have high internal pressures and temperatures, which means they should hold the early chemistry of the solar system. In recent years, some rendezvous or sample-return missions to small bodies have received a lot of attention in the world. The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) of Japan launched the MUSES-C spacecraft toward Asteroid 1998SF36 in May 2003. After the launch, the spacecraft was renamed "Hayabusa". In Hayabusa mission, ground based operation is very limited due to the communication delay and low bit-rate communication. Therefore, autonomy is required for deep space exploration. On the other hand, because little information on the target asteroid is known, new robotics technologies were used for the spacecraft to approach, rendezvous with, and land on the asteroid safely. Hayabusa spacecraft introduced a dynamic touch down the surface of the target asteroid and then a method to collect samples automatically by using the novel sampler system. Hayabusa spacecraft arrived at the target asteroid on 12th September in 2005 and observed the asteroid for about two months. And then two touchdowns were performed in November 2005. The spacecraft Hayabusa succeeded in returning to the Earth on 13th June, 2010. The Capsule could be recovered and it turned to be clear that the collected samples are from Itokawa by detailed analysis. This paper presents the autonomous guidance and navigation scheme used in MUSES-C sample return mission, Hayabusa. This paper also describes the flight results on the guidance and navigation for the descent and touchdown.