MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th December, 2020) The Hayabusa2 capsule containing samples from near-Earth asteroid Ryugu has been located in Australia after a successful landing, the Hayabusa2 sample return mission operated by the Japanese space agency, JAXA, said on Twitter.
"We found the capsule! Together with the parachute!" the mission said in the early hours of Sunday, adding in a later tweet "We have posted short videos of the re-entry capsule as it passed through the Earth's atmosphere, captured from near Coober Pedy in Australia."
In a later tweet, the mission said that the capsule was delivered to local headquarters in Australia.
"Today (12/6) at 08:03 JST [23:03 GMT on Saturday], the helicopter carrying the capsule arrived at local headquarters and the capsule was brought inside the building," the Hayabusa2 mission said, adding, however, that "the capsule is not collected until it is brought home to Japan!"
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014. It reached Ryugu in 2018 and collected samples in 2019, some of them from beneath the asteroid's surface.
On Saturday, the Hayabusa2 probe successfully released the capsule with samples, ahead of its planned descent to Earth.
The Hayabusa2 capsule contains the first rock samples ever collected from beneath the surface of an asteroid. It is the second time that untouched material from an asteroid has been brought back to our planet and scientists expect the samples to offer clues into the origins of life on Earth.