Japan space probe latest landing news: Hayabusa2 completes successful asteroid touch down | Science | News

Japan space probe latest landing news: Hayabusa2 completes successful asteroid touch down | Science | News 1151917

Delighted scientists toasted their success after the spacecraft landed. According to the Guardian, members of the team were seen madly clapping and making ‘V’ for victory signs. The probe had initially been working above the Ryugu asteroid before its landing.

The asteroid is approximately 185 miles (300km) from earth.

The landing is the second successful attempt to touch down on the asteroid.

Spokesman Takayuki Tomobe from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said: “The touchdown is successful.”

Yuichi Tsuda, Hayabusa2 project manager, spoke to reporters, telling them: “This is the second touchdown, but doing a touchdown is a challenge whether it’s the first or the second.

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“The whole team will do our best so that we’ll be able to complete the operation.”

Hayabusa2’s official account also tweeted: “The state of the spacecraft is normal and the touchdown sequence was performed as scheduled.”

The mission’s main focus is on the collection of materials from within the asteroid’s surface.

Researchers believe these samples could give them vital clues into what the solar system was like when it was born billions of years ago.

In order to successfully find and gather the samples, an “impactor” was reportedly sent to the asteroid in order to create a crater for Hayabusa2 to probe.

Hayabusa2 briefly landed on Ryugu back in February.

It is the successor to Hayabusa, JAXA’s first asteroid explorer.

The original incarnation collected dust samples from a smaller asteroid, which is described as looking like a potato.


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