An anonymous reader writes "As the first of its kind to return asteroid samples to Earth, the Japanese Hayabusa mission took pictures this week during its successful Earth flyby. Eventually headed to the asteroid belt, the probe will feature a novel sample collection 'horn' which hops around on the asteroid's surface and lands intermittently for only a second at a time. The samples will be dust clouds fired up from repeated bullet impacts, since the asteroid's low gravity makes it difficult to 'land' on. When faced with a similar problem, the European Rosetta mission alternatively will harpoon the surface to hang on while also touching down on another small-mass asteroid."
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