- The asteroid probe Hayabusa2 launched by the Japanese Space Agency JAXA made two attempts to collect material from the surface of the space rock Ryugu.
- As the sample returned now reveals, the first attempt collected fine particles and sandy material, but the second attempt was impressive.
- JAXA describes the second sample as including rocks nearly half an inch in size, which are very hard.
Japan’s “abbird 2” asteroid exploration mission took a long time. The flight to and from the Ryugu asteroid took several months, and the spacecraft itself spent a long time in orbit around the asteroid. The spacecraft’s biggest risk (and one of the mission’s most important goals) is to bring asteroid samples back to Earth.
It completed this task a few weeks ago, and Japan gradually began to disclose information about the samples collected by the probe. The first time I found it was a bit overwhelming, I found some black, charcoal-like dust and small pebbles when I tried to collect the first time. Now, after JAXA has shown the second batch of asteroid sample materials, we can say with certainty that the mission is an absolute great success.
Such as Enter news According to the report, the latest released images of asteroid samples give us a clearer understanding of what Japanese scientists will do in the coming months and years. According to JAXA, the second sample looks very promising, and the large rocks are obviously very hard.
The difference in sample materials is due to the very different environment in which the samples are collected. When Hayabusa2 made a short touchdown on the asteroid, the first sample was snatched away, so it was mainly dust and small pebbles on the surface. For the second sample, the JAXA team actually used Hayabusa2 to launch a projectile on the asteroid, making a hole in the surface so that material can be collected from the inside of the rock.
According to JAXA space materials scientist Usui, the fact that the second sample contained rocks of varying sizes suggests that the asteroid’s bedrock differs in hardness. At present, the research on asteroid samples is somewhat random, and the observation results have been noticed, but the in-depth study of this material and the content of the rock will continue for months or even years.
At the same time, the asteroid probe itself has not completed its work. After the sample is placed on the earth, the probe will sail into space. It is heading towards another asteroid that JAXA wants to study, but it will take longer to reach it. The journey to the asteroid will take 11 years, so we won’t know about it for some time.