Watch a Japanese spacecraft grab another sample from an asteroid

A rectangular shadow approaches a rocky surface, it appears to touch the surface sending dust and rocks flying upwards towards the camera.

JAXA

A camera has successfully recorded a Japanese spacecraft’s attempt to grab a second sample from a distant asteroid. While the actual sample collection happened earlier in July, a video made of images taken during the maneuver was just released on Friday, July 26th.

The sample-collecting spacecraft, Hayabusa2, has been in orbit around the asteroid Ryugu since July 2018, and it has already delivered robots and rovers to the asteroid. In the new video, you can see the shadow of the spacecraft grow steadily as it nears the surface of the asteroid. As the outstretched sample-collecting limb makes contact, a flurry of dust and rocks explodes from the surface while the spacecraft quickly ascends back into space.

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