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.
The spacecraft Hayabusa2 released the small capsule on Saturday and sent it toward Earth to deliver samples from a distant asteroid.
At about 10 kilometers (6 miles) above ground, a parachute was opened to slow its fall and beacon signals were transmitted to indicate its location in the sparsely populated area of Woomera in southern Australia.
About two hours after the reentry, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said its helicopter search team found the capsule in the planned landing area.
The retrieval of the pan-shaped capsule, about 40 centimeters (15 inches) in diameter, was completed after another two hours. (France24)