After opening the Hayabusa2 mission capsule that return to Earth from space, Japanese scientists confirms they found black shaped asteroid sample rock and a piece of soil inside it.
The Hayabusa2 spacecraft mission sent by the Japanese space agency JAXA collected the fragments of the asteroid named Ryugu and sent it to Earth in a capsule.
One of the few surviving substances that made up the solar system is the asteroid Ryugu.
Not only that – this is the first time that a large amount of rock has been sent to Earth from deep space.
The Hayabusa2 spacecraft was first able to reach Ryugu in June 2018. And in February 2019, Hayabusa2 landed on that one kilometer wide asteroid for the first time.
The asteroid was then “shot” with a metal bullet called tantalum. The pieces that fall into it are collected with a tube.
This video is an extract from yesterday’s press conference, with Hayabusa2 Project Manager Yuichi Tsuda confirming samples from Ryugu in the capsule! pic.twitter.com/hrhbiD6EIf
— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) December 16, 2020
The capsule carrying the Hayabusa2 spacecraft returned to Earth on Saturday, December 5th. With the help of a parachute, it landed safely in the desert of Umera, Australia.
Japanese scientists have so far opened only one of the three cells in the capsule.
In one of the remaining two cells, the underground material of Ryugu has been collected.
Scientists wanted to collect from this Ryugu pure matter that has not changed in billions of years due to radiation from space or other reasons.
That’s why they had to use explosives to hit the surface of the asteroid by throwing something like a missile made of copper. This created a hole 20 meters wide in the middle of Ryugu.
Hayabusa2 then descends into it and collects particles of pure cosmic matter from that hole.
The sample container inside the re-entry capsule was opened on December 14, and we confirmed black grains thought to be from Ryugu were inside. This is outside the main chambers, and likely particles attached to the sample catcher entrance. (English release available tomorrow) https://t.co/NAw1R1cjvy pic.twitter.com/5BfXxfH29h
— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) December 14, 2020