FIRST AIRED: June 27, 2018

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> This Japanese space probe is on a mission seeking the origins of life. After a three and a half year journey through space, the Hayabusa 2 began its orbit of an asteroid on Wednesday over 180 million miles from Earth. Dubbed the Ryugu, the rock's thought to house organic substances that scientists think could help reveal the answer to one of the biggest mysteries out there, how did life begin?
00:00:27
The Hayabusa 2, which is named after the peregrine falcon, will orbit the asteroid for the next few months. First it will map the surface before making a landing, when it will collect material from the asteroid itself. Asteroids like Ryugu are thought to have formed at the dawn of the solar system, and scientists say the rock could contain organic matter that might have contributed to the first life on earth.
00:00:50
Scientists in Tokyo will spend the next 18 months overseeing Hayabusa 2's operations, before it returns to Earth in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The first of the Hayabusa satellites also made its mark on history. It was the first probe to bring back samples from a different asteroid.
00:01:07
The original Hayabusa mission lasted 7 years and ended in 2010, when the probe returned to Earth streaking across the sky before slamming into the Australian desert.