​HOUSTON—The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is set to descend close to the surface of the asteroid Ryugu this week to deploy a target marker for the potential collection of subsurface material exposed during an early April crater-producing impact. The spacecraft, which was launched in December 2014 and reached the primitive, 1,000-m-wide (3,300-ft.) asteroid on June 27, 2018, dipped briefly to the surface for its first sample collection effort ...

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