Friday, 19 April, 2019

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft bombs Ryugu asteroid

Watch: Japan's Hayabusa-2 Is 'Bombing' Asteroid Ryugu to Make a Crater Japan’s Hayabusa2 drops ‘bomb’ on asteroid
Cary Marshall | 09 April, 2019, 12:06

Furthermore, the "small carry-on impactor" was specially designed to create a crater and to not deteriorate the underground samples.

The Japanese space agency, JAXA, with its Hayabusa-2 mission attempted to detonate explosive charge on Asteroid Ryugu, a big space rock located at about 195 million miles from Earth. The box then sent a copper ball about the size of a baseball into the asteroid.

It was created to come out of a cone-shaped piece of equipment. Scientists hope the samples will help them understand the history of the solar system, since asteroids are left over material from its formation. In a 2005 "deep impact" mission to a comet, the U.S. space agency Nasa observed fragments after blasting the surface but did not collect them.

In this computer graphics image released by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Hayabusa2 spacecraft is seen above on the asteroid Ryugu.

Tonight, the Hayabusa-2 will engage in this "crater operation" (April 4 in the USA and the morning of April 5 at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) headquarters), where it will shoot asteroid Ryugu with explosives to create an artificial crater, Space.com reported.

The photos showed a spray of fine particles from dozens of meters from a spot on the asteroid, named Ryugu.

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The agency hopes to gather underground samples of Ryugu, which could contain organic substances and water that could point to the origins of the solar system, Japan's Kyodo News reported.

As for what's next, the space agency says that the spacecraft moved to the other side of the asteroid after the explosion. While moving away, Hayabusa2 was also to leave a camera to capture the outcome, which would take time to reach Earth for analysis.

The probe successfully released a device called a "small carry-on impact" 500 metres above the asteroid. This is the riskiest mission that Hayabusa2 went on and luckily, it was successful. "But we still have more missions to achieve and it's too early for us to celebrate". By the end of February, Hayabusa 2 was "landed" on the asteroid, had shot a bullet into the surface to dust for samples of theirs. Since June past year, Hayabusa-2 studied Asteroid Ryugu and even deployed robotic vehicles to explore the rock more in-depth.

The aim of the crater on Ryugu is to throw up "fresh" material from under the asteroid's surface that could shed light on the early days of the solar system.

A live webcast of the mission room on the southern island of Tanegashima showed Jaxa staff applauding as the probe successfully completed each stage of the most critical phase of its mission so far.

The probe launched in December 2014 and arrived at the dice-shaped space rock on June 27, 2018.

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