The success of Hayabusa, which launched back in 2003, was very much up in the air. The first-of-its-kind mission to visit an asteroid, collect physical samples, and return them to Earth was beset by Murphy's law. A fuel leak, communications issues, and propulsion malfunctions all struck at various points during the journey, adding three years to the trip. An attempt to drop a landing craft on Itokawa also failed, missing the asteroid completely. Mission handlers finally decided to land the Hayabusa craft itself on the asteroid in an attempt to scoop some asteroid dust into its sample capsule.