The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Wednesday it will allow museums to exhibit the small capsule released from the Hayabusa unmanned space probe and retrieved in June after a seven-year round trip to the asteroid Itokawa.
In an effort to accommodate growing calls for more exhibitions, JAXA will accept applications through Sept. 30 from museums and other public entities that want to display the capsule, along with other items, including its Earth-descent parachute and a model of its heat-resistant exterior.
JAXA plans to choose which facilities it would provide the materials to by around the end of October for a series of exhibitions from mid-November to the end of March 2012, it said.
Since the capsule was first shown to the public at a municipal museum in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, at the end of July, three other facilities, in Tokyo and Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, hosted its exhibition, attracting over 115,000 visitors.
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