Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Unveiling the secrets of a habitable world with JAXA’s small-body missions

After the return of Hayabusa from asteroid Itokawa in 2010, the Japanese space agency JAXA developed a plan to investigate how our planet became habitable. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft mission to the asteroid Ryugu is just one part of this exploration that aims to track water and organics throughout our Solar System.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1

JAXA/National Central University

Fig. 2: Unlocking the secrets of a habitable world.


  1. Terada, K. et al. Sci. Rep. 8, 11806 (2018).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Morbidelli, A. et al. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 40, 251–275 (2012).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Murchie, S. L. et al. J. Geophys. Res. 96, 5925–5945 (1991).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Hyodo, R., Genda, H., Charnoz, S. & Rosenblatt, P. Astrophys. J. 845, 125 (2017).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Love, S. G. & Brownlee, D. E. Science 262, 550–553 (1993).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Altwegg, K. et al. Science 347, 1261952 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Masaki Fujimoto.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Fujimoto, M., Tasker, E.J. Unveiling the secrets of a habitable world with JAXA’s small-body missions. Nat Astron 3, 284–286 (2019).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing