Japan retrieves asteroid samples in hunt of Planet Origins

Vastavam Web: Japan has retrieved a capsule of asteroid dust from Australia’s remote outback after a six-year mission that may help uncover more about the origins of the planets and water, the Asian nation’s space agency said on Sunday. The mission of the Japanese spacecraft, Hayabusa2, spotlights Asia’s growing role in space exploration, with a Chinese robotic vehicle collecting lunar samples last week for the first time since the 1970s.

A helicopter flew the capsule from the unmanned craft, containing the first extensive samples of asteroid dust, from the landing site in Australia’s desert to a domestic research facility of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). “The probe landed on the asteroid twice, and the second time it created an artificial crater and collected some debris,” agency president Hiroshi Yamakawa told a news conference.

Source: Reuters