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Japan Launches Rocket

Japan launches rocket carrying asteroid probe Dec 3, 2014
H-IIA rocket blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center

Japan launches rocket carrying asteroid probe

Today (Dec 3, 2014) Japan launched a rocket with a space probe headed to an asteroid, several weeks after a European probe landing on a comet.

Japans H-IIA rocket lifted off from Tanegashima Space Center in the southern part of the country at 1:22 pm (0422 GMT) after delays caused by bad weather.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) sent the probe, Hayabusa2, on a six-year mission to rendezvous with the 1999JU3 asteroid.

Costing 260-million USD it will collect materials by blasting a hole to reach unexposed elements in the hope of answering some questions about life and the universe.

If the mission goes as planned it will reach the asteroid in mid-2018 and spend around 18 months orbiting.

It will also take samples of the surface by dropping tiny robots and the samples will be returned to Earth in late 2020




Japan Launches Rocket

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