Hayabusa2 Capsule Contains Sand Collected during 1st Landing

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, Dec. 15 (Jiji Press)--A capsule that Japan's Hayabusa2 unmanned asteroid probe brought to Earth contains sand collected apparently during its first landing on asteroid Ryugu in February 2019, its operator said Tuesday.

Many black particles as large as a few millimeters in diameter were found in a sample container in the capsule, according to the operator, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

"We've successfully collected much more than we expected," a JAXA official said.

The capsule landed in a desert in southern Australia on Dec. 6 and was recovered by JAXA. After gas samples were extracted from the capsule, it was airlifted to Japan and arrived at JAXA's Sagamihara Campus in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, on Dec. 8.

The sample container has three compartments, including the one intended to keep sand samples collected during the first landing. JAXA opened the compartment in a vacuum environment and found the particles inside.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press