Sun. Oct 24th, 2021
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The next step in space exploration has always been a difficult proposition. Space is literally the most hostile environment out there and building spaceships that can traverse the cold darkness of space is an incredibly difficult task. Well, leave it up to the Japanese to figure that problem out as the Hayabusa2 space probe retired to Earth after a long 6-year journey. The space probe was tasked with retrieving samples of an asteroid called Ryugu and finally made completed its arduous journey back home. 

We observed the capsule re-entry from around Coober Pedy, with the assistance of Curtin Observatory. The observation was successful & here is our image!https://t.co/KTdV0G9moU

Credit: Curtin University, Kouchi University of Technology, Nihon University, Ibaraki University, JAXA pic.twitter.com/qTFW8I8UD9

— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) December 6, 2020

The mission was led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration AGnecy (JAXA) with the purpose of finding out more about the origins of the solar system and even the origin of water. It’s a heavy task for humanity but it looks like we will definitely get more answers to these all-encompassing questions soon enough. The Hayabusa2 was launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in 2014 and landed on Ryugu after four years of travelling through the harshest environment known to man. The spacecraft then made its way back to Earth in 2019 after collecting the relevant samples from the asteroid.  

Capsule collection! The helicopter team immediately flew to the location identified by the DFS team. They searched for the fallen capsule by using radio waves and maps. Thank you very much!
(Collection Team M)#Hayabusa2#はやぶさ2#AsteroidExplorerHayabusa2 #HAYA2Report pic.twitter.com/KSyEbnU3Yd

— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) December 6, 2020

The Hayabusa2 landed in Australia around the Woomera area, 450kms north of Adelaide. The Hayabusa team tweeted out images of the retrieval of the asteroid sample with even Elon Musk chiming in. As fas as scientific research goes, this is a huge step forward. Asteroid are believed to be some of the oldest formations in the universe and unlocking its secrets could give us answers to questions that we may not have even asked. 

This truly is a huge step forward for space exploration as even India is taking steps to prepare for the eventual future in space with projects like the Chandraayaan missions. 

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