Photo/Illutration An illustraion of Hayabusa2 landing on asteroid Ryugu to collect samples churned up by the projectile’s impact. (Provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is offering the public a chance to see the soil and rock samples brought back to Earth from the asteroid Ryugu by its Hayabusa 2 space probe.

JAXA on Jan. 13 launched a website to showcase the collected specimens.

“Anyone can see high-precision images (of the samples),” said Tomohiro Usui, manager of JAXA’s Astromaterials Science Research Group. “We want many people to enjoy the world of Ryugu.”

The catalog contains the weight, size, shape, images and other data of 443 soil and rock samples collected from and below the surface of Ryugu in 2019.

JAXA also announced it will soon start accepting research proposals for these specimens from around the globe.

The agency said it will distribute the samples as early as June to those whose research proposals are approved after being peer-reviewed by members of a screening committee in Japan and abroad.

The database of the specimens is available at: (