A helicopter was dispatched to search for the capsule in the desert of the Woomera aerospace test site in the south of the Australia

The capsule contains collected material that is 4.6 billion years old, that is from the earliest times of the solar system

A capsule with the first samples from below the surface of an asteroid, eagerly awaited by scientists, has returned to Earth after a space trip of more than 5 billion kilometres.

The Japanese space agency Jaxa said it had received radio signals emanating from the small capsule after it landed in Australia.

A helicopter was dispatched to search for the capsule in the desert of the Woomera aerospace test site in the south of the country.

The capsule successfully detached from Japanese space probe Hayabusa 2 at a distance of 220,000 kilometres above the Earth, the Japanese space agency Jaxa said.

It contains collected material that is 4.6 billion years old, that is from the earliest times of the solar system, the mission manager, Makoto Yoshikawa of Jaxa, explained earlier in the week.

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