Press "Enter" to skip to content

Japan Is About To Blow Up A Crater In Asteroid Ryugu For Science

Hayabusa2 spacecraft of Japan is doing few huge things while its journey at the asteroid called Ryugu. The space program of Japan, JAXA, last year reached the space rock and, after much preparation, late last month, launched a bullet into its surface to gather some specimens of its surface. At present, JAXA is intending for an even bolder exercise. Getting specimens from surface of Ryugu is pioneering, but JAXA also aspires to obtain some of the matter from inside the asteroid itself. The craft isn’t equipped with a digging tool or drill to penetrate the surface of asteroid, but it did get some explosives.

The first sample attempt of Hayabusa2 was quite undemanding, with the craft plunging down close to the surface of the rock, dismissing a small bullet, and then ensnaring some of the remains kicked up by the collision. The probe, to obtain subsurface matter, will discharge what is known as a carry-on impactor into the atmosphere over the asteroid. The impactor comprises an explosive charge and a huge copper projectile. After it is launched and Hayabusa2 shifts to a harmless distance, it would fire into the surface of the asteroid and create a large depression.

The crater—that JAXA computes will be about a meter deep and as big as 10 m in diameter—would be the spot from which Hayabusa2 takes its subsurface sample if everything goes fine. The impactor’s release is, at present, planned for April 5; however, it will require at least another 2 Weeks prior to the debris and dust has cleared and the probe can get a better glance at the hole they have produced.

Likewise, OSIRIS-REx spacecraft of NASA, soaring in close formation with a small asteroid dubbed Bennu, has discovered clear indications on its rock-strewn surface of water-rich clays, along with one more mineral, magnetite, which structures in aqueous environments, as per recent reports.