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Japan retrieves space probe

Scitech Report

7 December, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Japan retrieves space probe

Japan has retrieved a space probe from Australia’s remote outback after a six-year mission that may help reveal more about the origins of the planets, the Asian nation’s space agency said on Sunday.

A capsule from the unmanned Hayabusa2, carrying the first extensive samples of dust from an asteroid, was flown by helicopter from the outback to a domestic research facility of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

 “This is great,” Yuichi Tsuda, a project manager for the agency, told Japanese broadcaster NHK. “It was a beautiful re-entry. We are all very moved by this.” The agency will hold a briefing later on Sunday.

The spacecraft, launched from Japan’s Tanegashima space centre in 2014, took four years to reach asteroid Ryugu gathering a sample and heading back to Earth in November 2019.