Hayabusa2 Collects Underground Asteroid Samples after 2nd Landing

Science Society Technology

Sagamihara, Kanagawa Pref., July 11 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Hayabusa2 unmanned spacecraft is believed to have successfully collected underground samples from the Ryugu asteroid, the first such feat in human history, after making its second landing on the minor planet on Thursday morning, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

The probe touched down on Ryugu, at a location near an artificial crater created on its surface in April, shortly past 10 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT), JAXA said. The crater was made by an explosive device called impactor launched from Hayabusa2.

JAXA also confirmed that a bullet for collecting underground materials was successfully launched toward the surface of Ryugu.

"The second touchdown was successful," JAXA official Yuichi Tsuda, who leads the Hayabusa2 project, said at the operation room for the spacecraft, according to the government-affiliated space agency. Hayabusa2 "made history again," he also said.

This was the world's first-ever attempt to collect samples from below the surface of an asteroid.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press