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22 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Japan mission set to ‘bite an asteroid’

BBC, London
Japan mission set to ‘bite an asteroid’

A Japanese spacecraft is set to "bite an asteroid" as it descends to collect a sample of rock from the surface. The Hayabusa-2 probe will try to grab the sample from a pre-chosen site on the asteroid Ryugu at 23:00 GMT on 21 February. The spacecraft reached asteroid Ryugu in June 2018 after a three-and-a-half-year journey from Earth. It is is expected to return to Earth with the rocky material it has cached in 2020.

During sample collection, the spacecraft will approach the 1km-wide asteroid with an instrument called the sampler horn. On touchdown, a 5g projectile made of the metal tantalum will be fired into the rocky surface at 300m/s.

The particles kicked up by the impact should be caught by the sampler horn. The spacecraft began descending from its "home position" of 20km above the asteroid's surface in the early hours of 21 February (GMT) - several hours later than planned. However, controllers said they would slightly increase the speed of descent down to 5km, so that the original touchdown time was not affected.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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