TOKYO – Japan's spacecraft approaches an asteroid surface about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth.
The Japan Aerospace Agency reported on Thursday that Hayabusa2 started its approach at 1:15 p.m.
The start was deferred for approximately five hours for a security check, but unmanned craft still has to touch as scheduled on Friday morning.
It will try to collect asteroid material that could provide clues for the origin of the solar system and life on Earth.
Cleaning will need to be cleared. Hayabusa2 aims to strip 6 meters in height (20ft) to avoid barriers to the surface of the asteroid.
The asteroid is approximately 900 meters (3,000 feet) in diameter. I'm named in Ryugu after an underground palace in Japanese fiction.