Jaxa: Data Indicates Hayabusa2 Has Landed On Ryugu

JAXA: Data indicates Hayabusa2 has landed on Ryugu

Japan's space agency says it has received data suggesting its space probe Hayabusa2 has landed on the asteroid Ryugu. The probe is on an unprecedented mission to collect underground rock samples.

Hayabusa2 began its descent from an altitude of 20,000 meters on Wednesday morning, Japan time.

By 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, the probe was about 30 meters above the asteroid. It fine-tuned its position using data from a marker dropped in advance on the surface, and made the final descent on automatic control.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, says it received data around 10:20 a.m. that indicated a touchdown had taken place.

JAXA scientists are studying the data to confirm whether the probe has actually landed on Ryugu.

Hayabusa2 made its first landing in February to collect surface rock samples.

This time, the probe will collect underground rock samples ejected by the impact of a metal object that was fired into the surface of the asteroid in April.