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Japan's Hayabusa2 probe makes 'perfect' touchdown on asteroid

Japan's Hayabusa2 probe made a "perfect" touchdown Thursday on a distant asteroid, collecting samples from beneath the surface in an unprecedented mission that could shed light on the origins of the solar system.

Japan lab finds trace of gas in deep space asteroid pod

Japan's space agency said it had found a trace of gas Thursday in a capsule thought to contain asteroid dust that was brought back to Earth after a multi-billion-kilometre (mile) space journey.

Japanese asteroid probe returns to Earth (Update)

A Japanese space probe which scientists hope contains material from the surface of an asteroid returned to Earth on Sunday, Japan's space agency JAXA said, landing in the remote Australian outback.

Japanese space probe Hayabusa close to home

(PhysOrg.com) -- Hayabusa, the Japanese space probe launched in 2003, is returning home from its five-billion-kilometer round-trip journey to collect samples from the asteroid 25143 Itokawa.

Japan spacecraft drops explosive on asteroid to make crater

Japan's space agency said an explosive dropped Friday from its Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully blasted the surface of an asteroid for the first time to form a crater and pave the way for the collection of underground samples ...

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Hayabusa

Hayabusa (はやぶさ?, literally "Peregrine Falcon") was an unmanned spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to return a sample of material from a small near-Earth asteroid named 25143 Itokawa to Earth for further analysis.

Hayabusa, formerly known as MUSES-C for Mu Space Engineering Spacecraft C, was launched on 9 May 2003 and rendezvoused with Itokawa in mid-September 2005. After arriving at Itokawa, Hayabusa studied the asteroid's shape, spin, topography, colour, composition, density, and history. In November 2005, it landed on the asteroid and collected samples in the form of tiny grains of asteroidal material, which were returned to Earth aboard the spacecraft on 13 June 2010.

The spacecraft also carried a detachable minilander, MINERVA, but this failed to reach the surface.

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