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Hayabusa2 touches down on asteroid
Posted: Sat, Feb 23, 2019, 5:25 PM ET (2225 GMT)
Hayabusa-2 illustration (JAXA) Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft made a successful touch-and-go landing on the asteroid Ryugu Thursday. Telemetry from the spacecraft indicated that it touched down on the asteroid and fired a projectile into the asteroid to kick up dust and rocks to collect before ascending. Project officials said they won't know how much material Hayabusa2 collected until the spacecraft returns to Earth, but said the spacecraft performed as expected. Two more sample collection efforts are planned before Hayabusa2 departs the asteroid, returning to Earth in late 2020.
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