Six years after the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 left Earth, we anxiously anticipate its return. On December 6, a small capsule will detach from the spacecraft and come to Earth. It will deliver an especially precious cargo: a piece of an actual asteroid.
Last year, a private company sent a spacecraft to the Moon. The landing was all but smooth, and the spacecraft crashed on the surface. The event would be nothing but a footnote in the history of space exploration if it weren’t for its secret cargo.