17:51 GMT +322 March 2019
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    This computer graphics image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows an asteroid and asteroid explorer Hayabusa2.

    Japan's Hayabusa2 Spacecraft to Shoot Bullet Into Asteroid This Week - Reports

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    The space exploration agency's project manager, Yuichi Tsuda, told reporters on 7 February that the agency had decided on the landing point of the spacecraft and how it planned to shoot the bullet.

    Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft is expected to land on the Ryugu asteroid this week where it will shoot a bullet into the rock to get samples that will be brought to Earth for further analysis, Gizmodo reported on Wednesday. 

    If the mission is a success, Hayabusa2 will bring three samples from Ryugu's surface to Earth in December 2020. 

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the spacecraft after a long period of extensive planning, and, according to a press release, it has now recreated an asteroid and bullet on Earth for relevant experiments. 

    Earlier this month, JAXA announced that the Hayabusa2 spacecraft is expected to land on the Ryugu asteroid at roughly 8 am local time on 22 February 2019.

    Hayabusa2 was launched in December 2014, and is expected to stay on the asteroid for a period of 18 months before its scheduled return to Earth in 2020. The Hayabusa2 mission has cost the agency roughly $260 million, according to AFP.

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    asteroid, space, NASA, JAXA, Japan
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