|Manu||Date: Monday, 07-December-2020, 9:26 AM | Message # 1|
|A Japanese capsule carrying the world's first asteroid subsurface samples shot across the night atmosphere early Sunday before landing in the remote Australian Outback, completing a mission to provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth.|
The spacecraft Hayabusa2 released the small capsule on Saturday and sent it toward Earth to deliver samples from a distant asteroid. At about 10 kilometers (6 miles) aboveground, a parachute was opened to slow its fall and beacon signals were transmitted to indicate its location in the sparsely populated area of Woomera in southern Australia.
About two hours after the reentry, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said its helicopter search team found the capsule in the planned landing area. The retrieval of the pan-shaped capsule, about 40 centimeters (15 inches) in diameter, was completed after another two hours.
"The capsule collection work at the landing site was completed," the agency said in a tweet. "We practiced a lot for today ... it ended safe."
The capsule's return came weeks after NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made a successful touch-and-go grab of surface samples from the asteroid Bennu. China, meanwhile, announced last week that its lunar lander collected underground samples and sealed them within the spacecraft for return to Earth, as space developing nations compete in their missions.
Read more/full article/source - https://phys.org/news....ia.html