Hayabusa2 Extended Mission nickname and logo
After delivering the capsule containing a sample from asteroid Ryugu to Earth on December 6, 2020, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft began a new adventure. This additional journey is called the "Hayabusa2 Extended Mission." As this new mission begins, the original "Hayabusa2 Project" has drawn to a close. With the work for the first mission now complete, the Hayabusa2 Project was dissolved at the end of June 2022, and will be taken over by the Extended Mission. On this occasion, we would like to announce the nickname and logo design for the Hayabusa2 Extended Mission.
The nickname of the Extended Mission is "Hayabusa2♯", read "Hayabusa2 Sharp". The character "♯" is a musical symbol that means "raise the note by a semitone," and for this mission, it is also the acronym for "Small Hazardous Asteroid Reconnaissance Probe." This name indicates that the Hayabusa2 Extended Mission is set to investigate small but potentially dangerous asteroids that may collide with the Earth in the future. The English meaning of the word "sharp" also highlights the extremely challenging nature of this mission, which is also reflected in the musical meaning of "raise the note by a semitone," suggestive of raising of the rank of the mission.
As the character "♯" is a musical symbol, it can be difficult to enter in practice when typing. The symbol can therefore be substituted for the "#" symbol (number sign/pound/hash) that is on computer keyboards or phones. There is no problem with the notation "Hayabusa2♯" (musical symbol) or "Hayabusa2#".
The next step is the logo design for the Hayabusa2 Extended Mission, which looks like this:
The logo depicts the spacecraft departing Earth and heading on a journey to explore two asteroids, 2001 CC21 and 1998 KY26. In addition to spacecraft operations, the Hayabusa2 Extended Mission will conduct three activities: "joint scientific analysis of samples from Hayabusa2 and NASA's OSIRIS-REx", "ready curation facilities to accept the OSIRIS-REx sample", and "widely disseminate Hayabusa2 science results to the international community". The four trajectories on the logo show how these activities interact as they proceed. The background shows the sharp character in the form of a star, with the four sharp star shapes also indicating the spacecraft operations with the three activities.