Hayabusa Space Probe May Contain Asteroid Dust Or Just Normal Dust

See that? It might be a dust particle from an asteroid! Or it might be a flake of dried skin from a man in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency factory that built the Hayabusa probe. No one knows yet.

The problem is, the recently returned asteroid probe's dust-capture mechanism failed, meaning any dust that got inside the Special Dust Chamber will have only got in there by accident when the probe hit near-Earth asteroid Itokawa.

"We are still unsure if those particles are something from the ITOKAWA or from the Earth, thus we will further examine them," says the official JAXA announcement. So hold tight, dust fans. [BBC via iO9]

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