Reuters: Japan probe lands on asteroid

A Japanese space probe made history on Saturday when it landed on the surface of an asteroid and then collected rock samples that could give clues to the origin of the solar system…

After analyzing data transmitted from the unmanned probe, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said Hayabusa had touched down on the asteroid, nearly 300 million km (190 million miles) from Earth.

The probe then shot a 5-gramme (0.18 oz) metal ball toward the surface at a speed of 1,080 kph (670 mph), collecting into a capsule the debris unleashed as a result of the impact, JAXA officials said.

This is a remarkable achievement. Now there only remains the small problem of bringing the sample home.

Postscript: Looks as if the celebrations might have been a little premature.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Apparently the probe and sample are due to land in the Australian Outback in June, 2007 - although I thought this sort of thing (landing extraterrestrial debris) had already been done with Skylab.

  2. Maybe it'll land on a cats home. That should keep Richard happy.

  3. Maybe it'll land on a cats home. That should keep Richard happy.

  4. Life is strange....
    I took my 7yr old granddaughter to see Santa, & they had a conversation about Leonard Cohen! He asked her if she was named Chelsea after his song Chelsea Hotel. She said she din't think so , but said that she really likes First We Take Manhattan (I sing it to her sometimes!) Her absolute favourite song is Psycho Killer by Talking Heads. Kids today.......I don't know!

  5. Your granddaughter has excellent taste: two great songs there. Have you heard the REM version of First We Take Manhattan? Stype at his hauntingest (but I still prefer Laughing Len's version).

    (Sorry I haven't been commenting on your comments, by the way: when I introduced the new anti-comment-spam feature, I accidentally disabled the feature which emails me when I receive new comments. All fixed now!)

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