"A Japanese space probe has landed in the Australian outback after a seven-year voyage to an asteroid, safely returning a capsule containing a unique sample of dust," says Reuters. "Scientists hope it could unlock secrets of the solar system's formation and shed light on the risk to Earth from asteroid impacts. NASA scientist Paul Abell, who monitored the return, said Hayabusa was significant in terms of planetary defense, bearing in mind an asteroid impact is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. Knowing the physical characteristics of near-Earth asteroids would be useful 'in case we see something coming at us in the future', he said. As leftover matter from the building of the solar system, he added, asteroids could also tell us about its formation and possibly the origins of life."