Last month, the Japanese Space Agency's. It landed just long enough to fire a bullet into the space rock to dislodge some little bits that were hopefully sucked up for transport back to Earth.
You can, but on Tuesday the space agency, also known as JAXA, released new video footage of the key moment.
The above video comes from Hayabusa2's small monitor camera, called CAM-H, which is positioned right above the long, cylindrical sampler horn that did the asteroid touching, shooting and sampling. You can see the craft descending into what seems to be a rock-strewn landing spot and then immediately ascending after firing the bullet to send bits of ancient cosmic cobble flying.
If the video seems jumpy, it's not your internet connection (or it's not just your connection). The frame rate as the craft descends is only one frame every five seconds and then it increases to one or two frames per second at the moment of touchdown and firing. The video is also sped up by 5x. Still, the whole operation was pulled off in just a few minutes.
During a press conference early Tuesday, JAXA said the touchdown appears to have collected a "sufficient sample."
The agency also said it's nicknamed the point where Hayabusa2 touched down "Tamatebako," which translates to "treasure box."
NASA is in the midst of its own asteroid-sampling mission, with its, which it plans to touch down on in 2020.
Hayabusa2 is far from done with Ryugu. Next up, JAXA plans to use a "small carry-on impactor" (SCI) aboard the spacecraft to create an artificial crater on the surface of the asteroid. Hayabusa2 will then attempt a second touchdown in or near the newly blasted crater.
Hayabusa2's schedule has it attempting to blast a new mark into Ryugu as soon as the first week of April, followed by another touchdown attempt sometime after May.