The Japanese space agency JAXA iscollected by by the intrepid Hayabusa2 probe expertly designed. The spacecraft’s sample collection capsule will land near Woomera in the Australian outback early Sunday morning local time. If you want to find out how to watch the sample return mission live, we’ve got you covered here.
What is it about? Well, Hayabusa2 was launched in 2014 and. After , the spacecraft was able to capture samples of underground material from space rock – potentially the first time a spacecraft has done so – and store it in the capsule that will return to Earth over the weekend.
Until JAXA scientists and engineers return to Japan, we won’t know for sure what was captured, but it seems incredibly likely that we’ll be able to leverage inside an asteroid for the first time. The material trapped inside could tell us about the early solar system and explain how water was transported to the planet in its formative years.
JAXA will provide a live stream from Mission Control. However, it is currently unclear whether there will be a vision from the location of the fireball as the spacecraft returns to Earth.
“Given the nature of our operations with the minimum number of team members in Woomera, we cannot promise anything, but if any, it will be integrated into the live stream from Sagamihara, Japan,” said Masaki Fujimoto, deputy director of the space and astronautical sciences at JAXA.
That live stream is available for viewing below. There are currently more than 80 JAXA scientists and engineers stationed in Woomera and the nearby outback town Coober Pedy ready for action as Hayabusa2 transports its asteroid sample to Earth.