Japan's Hayabusa2 space probe has successfully created a man-made crater on an asteroid that altered the body's terrain in a historical first, the country's space agency said Thursday.
The round-shaped crater was confirmed to be estimated about 10 meters in diameter by comparing images of the asteroid surface captured by the Hayabusa 2 probe before and after the impact, taken 1.7 km above the surface. "This is a big success".
This isn't the first time that Hayabusa2 has flung something at the surface of Ryugu to break up samples it could collect.
The Hayabusa-2 spacecraft has sent back images of the crater made when it detonated an explosive charge on the asteroid it is investigating.
Japan's Hayabusa2 mission aims to shed light on how the solar system evolved.
Hayabusa-2 fired a copper projectile at Ryugu, and the agency confirmed a blast of fragments caused by the crash. As noted in the AFP report, a loose, sandy surface was expected to produce a crater of that larger size, but the target region was rocky and littered with boulders.
The aim of blasting the crater on Ryugu is to throw up "fresh" material from under the asteroid's surface that could shed light on the early stages of the solar system.Читайте также: John Havlicek Passes Away At Age 79
Scientists believe the interior of the asteroid is largely protected from space weathering, and retains conditions that existed when it was created about 4.6 billion years ago as the solar system was being formed.
The probe arrived on Ryugu on February to gather surface samples and found hydrated minerals that will help scientists conclude whether asteroids brought water to Earth as theorized.
Photos of Ryugu - which means "Dragon Palace" in Japanese and refers to a castle at the bottom of the ocean in an ancient Japanese tale - show the asteroid has a rough surface full of boulders.
Launched in December 2014 from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, Hayabusa2 reached Ryugu last June. The difference in this case is that Hayabusa2 will now attempt to extract materials from within this new crater, whereas Deep Impact was only able to conduct observations.
The goal of making the crater on Ryugu was to lift "fresh" material from under the asteroid's surface to shed light on the early stages of the solar system.
The probe is loaded with four surface landers, an array of cameras and even an explosive device that will dig out subsurface rock samples. According to JAXA, Hayabusa-2 is scheduled to return to Earth in 2020.При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
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