Japanese Asteroid Mission Touches Down on Ryugu, Collects Sample

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Hayabusa2 has successfully collected its second sample from the surface of asteroid Ryugu. (Credit: Illustration by Akihiro Ikeshita (C), JAXA)

Hayabusa2’s encounters with asteroid Ryugu have been delightfully action-packed. In February, the Japanese spacecraft collected its first sample by swooping close and firing a bullet into the asteroid’s surface to stir up material it then snagged with a horn-shaped collector. Then, in April, it shot a much larger impactor into Ryugu, creating an arti

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