New York Post
June 27, 2018 –
A Japanese space explorer, Hayabusa2, arrived at an asteroid Wednesday after a 3½-year journey to undertake a first-ever experiment: blow a crater in the rocky surface to collect samples and bring them back to Earth.
The unmanned spacecraft reached its base of operations about 12 miles from the asteroid and some 170 million miles from Earth, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said.
Over the next year and a half, the spacecraft will attempt three brief touch-and-go landings to collect samples. If the retrieval and the return journey are successful, the asteroid material could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth.