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Watch: Animated video of Japan’s Hayabusa-2 touching down on asteroid Ryugu 290 million km away

Japan’s Hayabusa-2 probe, which successfully completed its second touchdown operation on asteroid Ryugu – 290 million km from Earth – on July 11, has sent back clips of the landing. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s probe, which is travelling with the aim of collecting samples of material to shed light on the history of the solar system, was launched in December 2014 and completed its first successful landing in February. Material from Ryugu made its way into Hayabusa-2’s sampler horn, after which the craft lifted back up, leaving the asteroid, explained NewsNation. The Japanese craft is expected to leave the asteroid and return home later this year. The asteroid Ryugu is named after an undersea dragon palace from a Japanese folktale.

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