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Japan Geoscience Union statement on the return of the HAYABUSA 2 re-entry capsule

Today, Japan’s asteroid probe “Hayabusa 2” successfully returned to the Earth with its sample-containing re-entry capsule. The Japanese Earth and planetary science community extends its warmest congratulations to the project participants. Hayabusa 2 has been used for precise close proximity observation of the asteroid Ryugu, including identifying a narrow region where a pinpoint landing was carried out, and formation of an artificial crater was performed using an impactor. A signal was received indicating that the sampling mechanism functioned without problem suggesting we have successfully collected samples including subsurface materials that have not been affected by space weathering. These samples will be analyzed in detail at laboratories both in Japan and other countries. The results will be used to help answer fundamental scientific questions about the origin and evolution of the solar system and the Earth, and in particular to unravel the mysteries about the building blocks for life and the origin of the Earth’s oceans. This mission involved the use of very advanced technology, and we salute the members of the mission from The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the wider space and planetary science community for their readiness to take on such a challenging project. At JpGU we look forward with great interest to the new achievements that will surely come as the samples are analyzed. We sincerely hope the forthcoming next phase of the extended Hayabusa 2 asteroid mission will meet with the same level of success.

President of the Japan Geoscience Union
Eiichi Tajika

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