The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, says data from the Hayabusa2 space probe shows it had landed on the asteroid Ryugu. The spacecraft’s task is to collect rock samples.
Hayabusa2 was launched in 2014 and arrived above asteroid Ryugu in June of last year. The asteroid is about 300 million kilometers from Earth.The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, planned a landing last October, but postponed it because the surface of the asteroid was rockier than expected.
The agency found a flat area near the equator of the asteroid that is free of rocks larger than 60 centimeters. The scientists are aiming the probe at an extremely small landing area 6 meters in diameter.