Aborigines to oversee asteroid hunting spacecraft landing to ensure safety of sacred sites

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Melbourne, June 12 (ANI): Aborigines, the indigenous Australian people, will be the first to see the release of a capsule under the Japanese space probe above the Outback this weekend.

The decision has been taken to ensure it does not affect sacred sites.

According to the program, they will travel with Japanese, Australian and US officials to view the capsule, which will be the leftover of the asteroid-chasing Hayabusa, after it burns out completely late on Sunday or early Monday.

"Indigenous people will accompany the retrieval team in a helicopter to conduct an aerial view of the landing site ... to ensure that no inadvertent damage is caused during the ground retrieval process," news.com.au quoted a spokeswoman for the Australian Defence Force, as saying.

The probe will complete the Hayabusa's journey that has lasted seven years and five billion kilometres, as it re-enters the atmosphere, the report said.

According to the report, scientists will keep an eye on the movement, and see whether Hayabusa managed to gather fragments from a moving asteroid for the first time, promising vital clues about the universe.

A team of NASA astronomers will track the progress from a NASA jet at a height of 12,000 metres as the 18kg canister re-enters at 1.93km per second, it added.

"Hayabusa will be the first space mission to have made physical contact with an asteroid and returned to Earth," NASA's Hayabusa project manager Tommy Thompson said.

Astronomers are expecting Hayabusa to provide insight into the development of the solar system, which could help minimise potential asteroid impacts with Earth. (ANI)

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