Japan has claimed a world first with its Hayabusa 2 probe which made a “perfect” touchdown today on a distant asteroid. Not only that, but the Hayabusa2 probe also collected samples from beneath the surface of the asteroid. This unprecedented mission may help provide more insight about the origins of the solar system.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency project manager Yuichi Tsuda said at a news conference that “We’ve collected a part of the solar system’s history,” as subsurface material has never been gathered before from a celestial body that was further away from the moon. Japan has been able to do it successfully in a world first.
The Hayabusa2 probe is the size of a fridge and it made its second landing on the asteroid earlier today. The confirmation that it had landed actually came when the probe lifted back up from the asteroid and was able to resume communications with the control room in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.