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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

 

 

 

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Japan Launches Rocket

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