From BBC News:
A Japanese spacecraft has touched down on an asteroid in an attempt to collect a sample of rock from the surface.
The Hayabusa-2 probe was trying to grab the sample from a pre-chosen site on the asteroid Ryugu just before 23:00 GMT on 21 February.
The spacecraft reached asteroid Ryugu in June 2018 after a three-and-a-half-year journey from Earth.
Hayabusa-2 is expected to return to Earth in 2020 along with its rocky hoard.
During sample collection, the spacecraft approached the 1km-wide asteroid with an instrument called the sampler horn. On touchdown, a 5g “bullet” made of the metal tantalum was fired into the rocky surface at 300m/s.
The particles kicked up by the impact should have been be caught by the sampler horn.
“We made a successful touchdown, including firing a bullet,” said Hayabusa-2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda.
“We made the ideal touchdown in the best conditions,” he said.