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JAXA releases video of Hayabusa2 touching down on asteroid Ryugu

TOKYO -- The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) released a video on March 5 showing its space probe Hayabusa2 touching down on the asteroid Ryugu.

The Hayabusa2 space probe bounces up from the asteroid Ryugu as pieces of the rock shoot up from the impact on Feb. 22, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the JAXA)

The images were taken by a camera on the spacecraft that was created using donations of about 12 million yen from the general public. They show pieces of rocks and stones on the asteroid's surface being raised like confetti when a tubular device to collect materials touched down and bounced up.

JAXA's Hirotaka Sawada, who helped develop the Hayabusa2, shows a camera on the probe that was created using donations from the general public at its facility in the city of Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Dec. 26, 2013. (Mainichi/Kimitaka Takeichi)

Project manager Yuichi Tsuda said at a press conference in Tokyo, "They are really fantastic images. I felt a thrill when I saw them for the first time." He added, "Through the donations we were able to take such images. Thank you."

(Japanese original by Tomohiro Ikeda, Science & Environment News Department, and Etsuko Nagayama, Opinion Group)

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