photos

Hayabusa2 spacecraft

This photo provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows soil samples, seen inside a container of the re-entry capsule brought back by Hayabusa2, in Sagamihara, near Tokyo. Officials from Japan's space agency said Tuesday they have found more than the anticipated amount of soil and gases inside a small capsule the country's Hayabusa2 spacecraft brought back from a distant asteroid this month, a sample-return mission they praised as a milestone for planetary research.

JAXA via AP

In this photo provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Hayabusa2 project members react as they watch over the live streaming about the fireball phase of the re-entry capsule at a control room of JAXA's Sagamihara Campus in Sagamihara, near Tokyo. A Japanese capsule carrying the first samples of asteroid subsurface shot across the night atmosphere early Sunday before successfully landing in the remote Australian Outback, completing a mission to provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth.

AP/PTI Photo

In this image made from video provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), its members react at the command center in Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, after JAXA officials confirmed the successful separation of a capsule from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. Japan's space agency said the Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully separated the capsule and sent it toward Earth to deliver samples from a distant asteroid that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on our planet.

AP/PTI Photo