Japan’s Hayabusa 2 Successfully Touches Down on Ryugu Asteroid
A Japanese spacecraft has successfully touched down on a speeding asteroid 300 million kilometres from the Earth as it attempts an audacious manoeuvre to collect samples and bring them back for scientists to study.
The Hayabusa 2 probe touched down on the asteroid Ryugu at around 11:30pm GMT on Thursday. Data from the probe showed changes in speed and direction, indicating it had reached the asteroid’s surface, according to officials from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
A live webcast of the control room showed dozens of JAXA staff members nervously monitoring data ahead of the touchdown before exploding into applause after receiving a signal from Hayabusa2 that it had landed.
By Kate Lyons and Ian Sample, The Guardian