TECH Japanese space capsule carrying asteroid rocks lands in Australian outback

TECH

Japanese space capsule carrying asteroid rocks lands in Australian outback

CGTN

16:52, December 06, 2020

This handout photograph taken and released by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on December 6, 2020 shows the re-entry capsule, carrying samples collected from a distant asteroid after being dropped off by Japanese space probe Hayabusa-2, following its landing in South Australia. (Photo: AFP)

The capsule of Japan's asteroid probe Hayabusa2 has landed safely in the remote Australian outback, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said on Sunday.

It is carrying what scientists hope to be samples from the ancient Ryugu asteroid that could help explain the origins of life.

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

The spacecraft, launched from Japan's Tanegashima space center in 2014, took four years to reach the asteroid Ryugu before taking a sample and heading back to Earth in November 2019.

Asteroid Ryugu is about a kilometer in diameter and is thought to contain water and organic matter, similar to the Earth's birth about 4.6 billion years ago.

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