Inside Japan's daring asteroid heist, ten years in the making

Plus: NASA's moon rocket, interstellar pancakes, fossils deep under the Greenland ice and plenty more!
                                                                                                                                                                               
Hello humans!

If you're a long-time reader of the newsletter, you'll know last December, I drove into Australia's hot, sparse Outback to watch Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft drop off some pristine samples of the 4.6-billion-year-old asteroid Ryugu. I followed many of the space agency's top scientists and engineers for six months leading up to the sample return and documented it in a longread this week: Journey to the Dragon Palace -- that one's just below and I hope you enjoy it!

There is always plenty more happening in the world of science and this week we have new data revealing an ancient ocean on Mars, a successful test of NASA's Artemis moon rocket, an interesting explanation for the unusual, interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua (not aliens, sorry) and a wonderful, harrowing account of what it's like to fly to Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We're taking a week off the mailbag because I'm supposed to be on a short holiday right now, but I couldn't resist getting a newsletter out for the week. In the meantime, make sure you check out all the latest and greatest science news at CNET.com and if you enjoy this newsletter, please send it on to a friend to sign up. We'll be back next Monday with the mailbag and plenty more!

Until then, if you have a burning question, send me an email or a DM on Twitter and let's get you some answers. Have a great week!

Enim scientia et astra!
Jackson Ryan Jackson Ryan
Science Editor, CNET
Inside  Japan's journey to the Dragon Palace, asteroid Ryugu
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