Despite the solar sucker punch, Hayabusa arrived at the "S-type" asteroid, just a couple of months later than planned. But bad luck continued to dog the probe.
During approach to the asteroid, Hayabusa was supposed to drop a small robotic lander on the asteroid's surface. Sadly, during the lander's release, Hayabusa's automated proximity system caused the probe to move away from the asteroid, ensuring the little lander spun into space, rather than land on Itokawa's surface.
Also, as the mission called for the collection of material from the asteroid's surface, mission controllers commanded Hayabusa to "land" on (or more accurately, "dock with") the asteroid. Although this feat was accomplished, the asteroid dust collection system malfunctioned and the pellet that was supposed to fire, impacting the surface to kick up dust for collection by the probe's equipment, didn't.
Despite this setback, JAXA scientists remained positive, hoping dust had drifted into the equipment regardless by the probe's hull bumping and rubbing against the asteroid. Other problems included fuel leaks, thruster failure and communication blackouts.