A Japanese spacecraft has touched down on a distant asteroid on a mission to gather materials that might present clues to the origin of the photo voltaic system.

Employees on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Company management middle applauded Friday as a sign despatched from area indicated the Hayabusa2 spacecraft had touched down.

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In the course of the landing, Hayabusa2 is programmed to increase a pipe and shoot a pinball-like object into the asteroid to explode materials from beneath the floor. If that succeeds, the craft would then accumulate samples to ultimately be despatched again to Earth. Three such touchdowns are deliberate.

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The asteroid, named Ryugu after an undersea palace in a Japanese folktale, is about 900 meters (3,000 toes) in diameter and 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth.

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