Japan capsule with asteroid samples retrieved in Australia
Tokyo: Japan's space agency said its helicopter search team has retrieved a capsule, which is carrying asteroid samples that could explain the origin of life, that landed on a remote area in southern Australia as planned Sunday.
The capsule collection work at the landing site was completed . . .," the space agency said in a tweet about four hours after the capsule landed. We practiced a lot for today ... it ended safe." Hayabusa2 had successfully released the small capsule on Saturday and sent it toward Earth to deliver samples from a distant asteroid that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on our planet, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said.
Early Sunday the capsule briefly turned into a fireball as it reentered the atmosphere 120 kilometers (75 miles) above Earth. At about 10 kilometers (6 miles) above ground, a parachute was opened to slow its fall and beacon signals were transmitted to indicate its location.
It was great ... It was a beautiful fireball, and I was so impressed," said JAXA's Hayabusa2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda as he celebrated the successful capsule return and safe landing from a command center in Sagamihara, near Tokyo. I've waited for this day for six years." Beacon signals were detected, suggesting the parachute successfully opened and the capsule landed safely in a remote, sparsely populated area of Woomera, Australia, said JAXA official Akitaka