HAYABUSA grains were sampled at the surface of Itokawa, an S-type asteroid. These samples offer a unique perspective to better understand the genetic link between asteroids and cosmomaterials available in laboratory and to get an insight on the early stages of space weathering.
Our scientific objectives are threefold: (i) the characterization of asteroidal surface
processes (space weathering and search of water/-OH); (ii) the assessment of parent-body alteration processes; (iii)a search for a possible link between S-type asteroids and micrometeorites (the main source of extraterrestrial matter on Earth nowadays).
Our strategy is based on a combination of analytical techniques: SEM, EPMA, IR, Raman, Fe-XANES, TOF-SIMS, and TEM and noble gas (see also separate proposals from H. Leroux and E. Füri for TEM and noble gases analyses, respectively). The results of these analyses will be compared with asteroid astronomical data and with characteristics of meteorites and micrometeorites from the national and international collections. The different teams involved in the present consortium are used to work together on common samples, ensuring the success of the proposed collaboration.