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space odyssey

Japan probe arrives at asteroid after nearly four-year space odyssey

TOKYO: A space probe of Japan named after a falcon arrived at an asteroid 300 million kilometers from Earth on Wednesday after a three-and-a-half year journey on a mission to seek the origins of life. The Hayabusa 2 blasted off in December 2014 for the asteroid Ryugu on a pioneering mission to take samples that scientists hope will help reveal how life began. Its round-trip mission is set to take six years. “Everything has gone as planned,” a spokesman for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) told a news…