Japan’s asteroid probe left a big dark patch when it touched Ryugu

28-Feb-2019 Intellasia | BRG News | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Japan’s space agency JAXA is still celebrating the success of its first attempt to collect a sample of the asteroid Ryugu using the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, and it seems the asteroid itself is now left with a mark to prove it.

In a new set of images released by JAXA we can see Ryugu is now painted with a large dark blob that now graces its dusty white surface. The change is due to dust that was kicked up from beneath the surface when the spacecraft fired its projectile, causing a cloud of debris. Some of that debris was then collected by the spacecraft and will eventually be returned to Earth.

JAXA engineers and scientists are extremely happy with how this first sample collection attempt played out, and it’s a good sign that future collection maneuvers have a good chance at success.

Hayabusa2 is scheduled to perform a couple more sample-snagging dips to Ryugu’s surface before eventually heading home. When it does so, it’ll arrive on Earth with the material stowed away, and you can be sure that researchers will be eager to examine it. The mission should tell us a lot about the makeup of asteroids in our solar system. Those vital details could one day help us prepare planetary defenses against space rocks like Ryugu that may threaten our existence.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/japan-asteroid-probe-left-big-030518306.html

 


Category: Japan

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