Hayabusa2 probe makes 'perfect' touchdown on asteroid
Japan Today -- Jul 12
Japan's Hayabusa2 probe made a "perfect" touchdown Thursday on a distant asteroid, collecting samples from beneath the surface in an unprecedented mission that could shed light on the origins of the solar system.

"We've collected a part of the solar system's history," project manager Yuichi Tsuda said at a jubilant press conference hours after the successful landing was confirmed.

"We have never gathered sub-surface material from a celestial body further away than the Moon," he added.

"We did it and we succeeded in a world first."

The fridge-sized probe made its second landing on the asteroid around 10:30am (0130GMT), with officials from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) breaking into applause and cheers as initial data suggested the touchdown had been a success.

Confirmation of the landing came only after Hayabusa2 lifted back up from the asteroid and resumed communications with the control room.

Research director Takashi Kubota told reporters that the touchdown operation was "more than perfect."

And Tsuda, with a grin, said he rated it "1000 points out of 100."

"The probe moved perfectly and the team's preparation work was perfect," he said.

探査機『はやぶさ2』は11日朝、小惑星『リュウグウ』への2回目の着陸に成功し、内部の石を採取するという世界初のミッションを達成した。内部の石は、太陽光や宇宙線による変質が少ないと考えられ、今回の採取によって、より生命の誕生の解明に近付くことができる可能性があるという。はやぶさ2は、年末までにリュウグウを離れ、約1年かけて採取したものを持ち帰ってくる予定となっている。

News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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