Hayabusa, also known as MUSES-C has been subject to personification by a lot of people in Japan, just like anything else.
Someone goes by Sukocchi posted manga of Re-entry of Hayabusa in personified style. In this article, I will share this with translation.
2010 0613 19:51
(Over the radio): Hayabusa, detach the capsule.
Hayabusa: Roger, understood.
Hayabusa: Capsule, detached
Hayabusa: Ah…Now my first chore is done, nothing left other than burning out to pieces…
(Over the radio): Hayabusa…
Hayabusa: Y, yes
(Over the radio): I got last chore to ask you, turn around to see behind you.
Hayabusa: Eh? Behind?
(Over the radio): Thank you for your hard work for long time. This is treat for you for that.
Hayabusa, welcome back…
Hayabusa: I’m home
The manga version of the story came from the fact that operators of Hayabusa signaled Hayabusa, shortly before its re-entry to atomosphere, to turn around 180 degrees, because they wanted to let Hayabusa see Earth once again. Since Hayabusa’s attitude control thruster was dysfunctional, they changed its orientation by jetting fuel. In series of many pictures taken, last one had picture of Earth. Which can be seen in JAXA’s article.
Sentimental, maybe, but considering this mission had go through a lot of hardship, which its probability of returning to Earth was questioned many times during its 7 year mission, I think emotional attachment would have been great among operator staff and people who were following the mission’s happenings. Although in different style, sentimentality to space exploration machines are not unique to Japan, as there was XKCD strip about mars rovers.
Apparently, at the time Hayabusa sent in its picture, it was already beginning to burn in re-entry, wow.