JAXA announced early this morning that the helicopter recovery team successfully recovered the sample return capsule from the JAXA Hayabusa asteroid sample return mission landing in the Woomera Protected Area in outback South Australia.
The text of the media release states:
After the Hayabusa capsule reentry, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) searched for the capsule by a helicopter and discovered it at the expected landing area in WPA, Australia at 11:56 p.m. on June 13th, 2010 (JST). JAXA will start retrieving it in the afternoon on June 14th, 2010(JST).
The Ames imaging team has placed the following video on Youtube of Hayabusa and the sample recovery capsule re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft breaks up. Keep watching and the single small dot left moving is the sample recovery capsule (at the right hand side of the video).