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Grains of asteroid dust get going-over in Japan

It came from outer space and returned ultra-small bits of asteroid 25143 Itokawa.Full story

Success! Asteroid dust brought back to Earth

A spacecraft that touched down on a space rock during a billion-mile mission successfully returned the first-ever samples from the surface of an asteroid, Japan's space agency says. Full story

Asteroid probe makes fiery return to Earth

A fiery burst of light over the Australian Outback late Sunday marked the return of a Japanese space probe, potentially carrying samples from an asteroid. Full story

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Asteroid probe makes its way back to Earth

Crescent Earth photographed from deep space

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  Asteroid probe returns to Earth

Watch a video of the Hayabusa asteroid probe's descent and breakup, captured by a camera aboard NASA's DC-8 research airplane over Australia.

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Japan's Hayabusa asteroid probe
Japan's Hayabusa asteroid probe

An artist's illustration of the sample-return capsule from Japan's Hayabusa asteroid probe, which returned to Earth June 13, 2010, from a seven-year mission.

Particle
Particle

A manipulator needle points to a microscopic particle found inside the Hayabusa probe's sample capsule. In this image, the needle is casting a shadow on the surface of the container.