Asteroid mission returns to Earth

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A capsule thought to contain the first samples grabbed from the surface of an asteroid has returned to Earth.

The Japanese Hayabusa container hit the top of the atmosphere just after 1350 GMT, producing a bright fireball over southern Australia.

It had a shield to cope with the heat of re-entry and a parachute for the final drop to the ground.

A recovery team later reported they had identified the landing zone in the Woomera Prohibited Range.

BBC Science Correspondent Jonathan Amos describes the capsule's dramatic re-entry.

READ MORE: Asteroid mission returns to Earth

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