Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which collected a sample from the asteroid Ryugu last year, is scheduled to return to Earth on Saturday, December 5. The small capsule should land in the Australian Outback at 12:45 p.m. ET. In the six years since the spacecraft launched, it has traveled almost four billion miles.
It’s going to be an exciting weekend for Japan’s space agency, JAXA. The agency is awaiting the return of precious cargo—a roughly 10-gram sample of the asteroid Ryugu—collected two years ago by its Hayabusa2 spacecraft.
🌌You love badass space stuff. So do we. Let’s explore the universe together.
If everything goes according to the carefully laid plans, a small capsule will plunge through Earth’s atmosphere and land in the Australian desert at around 12:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 5, 2020. JAXA is planning to livestream both the separation of the capsule from its parent spacecraft as well as the capsule’s recovery operation. (We’ll update these links as they go live.)
This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Barring any mishaps, the material gathered by Hayabusa2 will be the second asteroid sample successfully collected and returned to Earth. In the coming years, JAXA and NASA researchers will study the sample in hopes of learning more about the formation of our solar system, how asteroids like Ryugu form, and whether they could have brought the ingredients of life to our planet billions of years ago.
A Long Journey JAXA’s Rover-1B takes an image of the surface of the asteroid Ryugu.
Any mission to collect samples from a distant world is a bold
This post was originally published by Popular Mechanics on . Please visit the original post to read the complete article.