April 24, 2019

Asteroid Ryugu revealed by approaching Japanese spacecraft

June 20, 2018

In the final days of a three-and-a-half year pursuit, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sample return spacecraft is beaming back clearer images of asteroid Ryugu, an unexplored object that scientists say resembles a spinning top or dumpling nearly 180 million miles from Earth.

Asteroid missions on track to reach their destinations in 2018

January 18, 2018

Pioneering spacecraft from NASA and the Japanese space agency promise to reveal two unexplored asteroids later this year, officials said Wednesday, beginning surveys that will culminate in daring descents to capture samples for return to Earth, where eager scientists await a hands-on look at the specimens.

Asteroid probe confirmed on good trajectory after Earth flyby

December 14, 2015

A Japanese space probe picked up just the right amount of speed when it flew by Earth earlier this month, using the planet’s gravity to slingshot toward an asteroid scientists think is a primordial leftover from the ancient solar system, mission managers said Monday.

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 asteroid mission checks out

March 9, 2015

Three months into an interplanetary cruise expected to last three-and-a-half years, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe is in good health as it begins an ion-powered pursuit of an asteroid to return a piece of it to Earth.

NASA, JAXA reach asteroid sample-sharing agreement

December 15, 2014

Scientists from the United States and Japan plan to share asteroid specimens from the OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa 2 sample return missions under an agreement signed by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Philae’s “little cousin” heading for asteroid touchdown

December 2, 2014

Weeks after accomplishing the first touchdown on a comet, the team of European scientists that developed the Philae landing craft is awaiting launch of a related robot riding piggyback with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft to achieve the same feat on an asteroid.

Japan set to launch asteroid sample return mission

December 2, 2014

Japan is readying an H-2A rocket for liftoff Tuesday to kick off an audacious six-year roundtrip journey to a carbon-rich asteroid, drop a fleet of landers to its surface, collect primordial rock samples, and return the materials to terrestrial laboratories for analysis.

Live coverage: Japanese asteroid mission blasts off

December 2, 2014

An ambitious mission of exploration launched from Japan at 0422 GMT Wednesday (11:22 p.m. EST Tuesday). An H-2A rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center with Hayabusa 2, starting a six-year journey to collect rocks from an asteroid and return them to Earth.

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