A space cannon built to blast a crater in an asteroid to help scientists gather data about the space rock has been successfully tested, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The Hayabusa2 project is scheduled to launch next year on its way to Asteroid 1999 JU3. The craft is expected to reach its destination in 2018, when the cannon will fire a metal bullet into the asteroid to make a crater from which Hayabusa2 will gather samples to return to Earth for study.

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