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Photo Journal: On target

(Illustration courtesy of Akihiro Ikeshita)

This artist's illustration shows the Hayabusa 2, launched in 2014, approaching the Ryugu asteroid to collect samples and return them to Earth. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced on June 4 that the Hayabusa 2 has completed firing its main ion engine. The space probe will approach the asteroid using fuel and oxidizing agents and is expected to arrive at Ryugu between June 21 and July 5. The Hayabusa 2 reached its planned orbit about 3,100 kilometers from Ryugu and stopped its ion engine on June 3, which was in operation for a total of some 6,329 hours since 2015. The Hayabusa 2 is flying at a speed of 33 kilometers per second. (Illustration courtesy of Akihiro Ikeshita)

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