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The Japanese space agency explodes asteroids in search of the origin of the Earth

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The Japanese space agency explodes asteroids in search of the origin of the Earth

The Japanese space agency explodes asteroids in search of the origin of the Earth

Japanese surveys started on asteroids. This mission aims to explode the asteroid crater to its surface and collect materials that can explain the evolution of the solar system.

This mission is the latest in a series of explorations by the Japanese space agency Hayabusa2. This exploration should also reveal more about the origin of life on Earth.

However, the task scheduled for Friday (5/5) is considered the most risky of the Hayabusa2 investigation and involves the release of explosive devices.


The explosive is called a "small cabin impactor", a cone-shaped device covered with a copper base. This explosive will come out of Hayabusa2, once the probe arrives 500 meters above the asteroid Ryugu.


The probe will then leave the area and the impactor will be programmed to explode 40 minutes later. The explosive will push the bottom of the copper to Ryugu, where it will dig a crater to the surface of the asteroid located 300 million kilometers from the Earth.

Hayabusa2 will move away from the area to avoid damage from explosions or collisions with Ryugu.

During the explosion, Hayabusa2 will launch a camera over the explosion that should be able to capture images of the event.

The camera must be able to send the images, but we do not know when the first confirmation of the success of the mission will come.

It took two weeks for the investigation itself to regain its initial position near Ryugu after the explosion and impact.

"We are happy to see what happens when the impactor hits an asteroid," Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) technical researcher Takashi Kubota told reporters earlier this week.

The crater can reach a diameter of 10 meters if its surface is sandy, but its width is three meters smaller if it is rocky, according to the scientists of the JAXA.

Similar project from NASA

NASA's Deep Impact project successfully created an artificial crater on a comet in 2005, but only for observation purposes.

Ryugu Crater aims to project cool materials under the surface of the asteroid, which may explain the beginnings of the solar system.

In February, Hayabusa2 briefly landed at Ryugu and fired a shot at the surface to pick up the dust, before returning to his detention position.

The asteroid is believed to contain large amounts of organic matter and water for about 4.6 billion years at the birth of the solar system.

The Hayabusa2 mission, valued at about 30 billion yen, or US $ 270 million, was launched in December 2014 and is expected to return to Earth with its sample in 2020.


The photos of Ryugu, which means "Dragon Palace" in Japanese and refers to a castle located at the bottom of the ocean in an old Japanese fairy tale, show an asteroid with a rough surface full of large stones.

Hayabusa2 examines the surface of the asteroid with its camera and detection equipment, but has also sent two small MINERVA-II exploratory robots and the French-German MASCOT robot to assist in surface observation.

Measuring the size of a large refrigerator, Hayabusa2 is equipped with solar panels and succeeds JAXA's first asteroid explorer. Hayabusa herself is Japanese for eagles.

The survey came back with a smaller sample of potato asteroid dust in 2010, despite various setbacks during its seven-year epic odyssey and was hailed as a scientific victory.
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