It was Japan's first failed launch in nearly two decades, and the only one for an Epsilon rocket, a solid-fuel model that has flown five successful missions since its 2013 debut.
Researchers discovered "amino acids and other organic matter" in dust from the asteroid Ryugu, adding weight to a theory that life on Earth was brought from outer space.
The spacecraft on desolate asteroid Ryugu, some 300 million km from Earth, is on a mission of collecting samples in hopes of finding clues to the origin of the solar system.
The German-French Mascot lander which was released from the unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 will analyse the asteroid's surface properties, collect samples and send back to researchers on Earth.
The unmanned Hayabusa2 spacecraft will spend about two months looking for suitable landing places on the uneven surface.
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