• The craft will spend two years travelling to asteroid 1999 JU3, an almost spherical carbon-rich asteroid that is 920 m in diameter and is thought to contain organic matter and hydrated minerals
  • The probe will bring back a sample to Earth sometime in 2020
  • Hayabusa 2 is a successor to Japan’s original Hayabusa craft, which returned with the first-ever samples from an asteroid back in 2010. Weighing almost 600 kg and costing about $250m, Hayabusa 2 will attempt to find out the origin of JU3’s organic matter and water, and how these are related to life and ocean water on Earth

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