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Space probe reaches asteroid -- now comes the tricky part

Japan's Hayabusa2 to return samples to Earth in 2020

Japan's Hayabusa 2 probe has reached the asteroid Ryugu, thought to contain organic matter from the dawn of the solar system. (Artist rendering courtesy of JAXA)

TOKYO -- Culminating a journey that began three and a half years ago, the Japanese space probe Hayabusa2 has finally reached its target: the asteroid Ryugu, which is orbiting the sun approximately 180 million miles from Earth.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) gave the time of arrival as 9:35 a.m. Japan time Wednesday.

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