Japan Retrieves Space Capsule Full of Asteroid Samples in Australia

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Japan Retrieves Space Capsule Full of Asteroid Samples in Australia

The successful landing marks the completion of Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission, which studied the 3,000-foot-wide asteroid Ryugu

Japanese space capsule returning to Earth
A Japanese space capsule seen falling back to Earth over Australia. The capsule, released from the JAXA space probe Hayabusa2, contains samples of an asteroid called Ryugu that is located roughly 180 million miles from our planet. (MORGAN SETTE / AFP via Getty Images)

By Alex FoxSMITHSONIANMAG.COM
DECEMBER 8, 2020117

On Sunday, a capsule released by Japan’s Hayabusa2 space probe successfully returned to Earth with samples from the asteroid Ryugu, reports Mari Yamaguchi for the Associated Press (AP). The capsule landed in Woomera, a remote section of the Australian Outback, where it was swiftly retrieved by JAXA, Japan’s space agency, with support from Australia’s own space agency and military.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=Alex_M_Fox&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1335513393122316288&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.smithsonianmag.com%2Fsmart-news%2Fjapan-retrieves-space-capsule-full-asteroid-samples-australia-180976475%2F&siteScreenName=smithsonianmag&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Capsule collection! The helicopter team immediately flew to the location identified by the DFS team. They searched for the fallen capsule by using radio waves and maps. Thank you very much!
(Collection Team M)#Hayabusa2#はやぶさ2#AsteroidExplorerHayabusa2 #HAYA2Report pic.twitter.com/KSyEbnU3Yd— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) December 6, 2020

The arrival of the samples from Ryugu, which weigh approximately one gram, marks the successful end of a six-year, 3.25 billion-mile mission to rendezvous with the jet black, roughly half-mile-wide rock as it hurtles through space, report Colin Dwyer and Jason Slotkin for NPR.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=Alex_M_Fox&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1335324694359072768&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.smithsonianmag.com%2Fsmart-news%2Fjapan-retrieves-space-capsule-full-asteroid-samples-australia-180976475%2F&siteScreenName=smithsonianmag&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Photographs of the fireball captured on-site. Welcome back.
(Collection Team M)#Hayabusa2#はやぶさ2#AsteroidExplorerHay

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