A capsule containing the first significant quantities of rock from an asteroid is in “perfect” shape, according to scientists.
The container with material from a space rock called Ryugu parachuted down near Woomera in South Australia on Saturday evening (GMT).
A recovery team in Australia found the spacecraft lying on the sandy ground, with its parachute draped over a tree.
The samples were originally collected by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa-2.
The spacecraft spent more than a year investigating Ryugu before returning to Earth. As it approached our planet, Hayabusa-2 released the capsule with the samples and fired its engines to push off in another direction.
The capsule, meanwhile, entered the Earth’s atmosphere.
The official Hayabusa-2 Twitter account reported that the capsule and its parachute had been found at 19:47 GMT.
“Hayabusa-2 is home,” Dr Yuichi Tsuda, project manager for the mission, said at a press conference on Sunday morning (GMT) in Sagamihara, Japan.
“We collected the treasure box,” he said, adding: “The capsule collection was perfectly done.”
He said there was no damage to the container.
Courtesy: BBC News